Over the last three decades Elaine Baker, ATC, SCAT, has served Furman student-athletes in a variety of roles, including assistant athletic trainer, associate director of sports medicine and, since 1994, as director of Furman’s sports medicine and rehabilitation operation. In addition, since 1997 she has served as the department’s senior woman administrator, and in 2002 added the title of associate athletics director.
She most recently was instrumental in facilitating the partnership between Furman University’s Sportsmedicine Center and the St. Francis Health system, which formed the St. Francis Therapy Center @ Furman Sportsmedicine.
A full-time member of Furman’s athletic staff since 1985, Baker actually got her start with the university’s athletic program in 1981 when, following graduation from Winthrop College with a degree in health and physical education, she joined the Paladin program as a graduate assistant trainer — a position she held for two years while pursuing a master’s degree with a concentration in health and exercise science, which she received from Furman in 1982.
A two-year stint as the head athletic trainer at North Greenville College followed prior to her return to Furman as an assistant athletic trainer in 1985.
Baker, a native of Greenville, S.C., has been recognized for her professional accomplishments, receiving the National Athletic Trainer Association Service Award in 2000. She was recognized by the Southern Conference in its “25th Year Celebration of Women’s Athletics” as one of the 25 most influential individuals in the conference for women’s athletics. In 2010 she received the “Fred Hoover Award for Excellence”, which is the highest honor given by the South Carolina Athletic Trainers’ Association. She is the first female recipient of the award and joins a group of only four previous winners.