Celebrating athletic trainer Jeff Stone’s retirement after 14 years with Suffolk University’s athletic department.
April 11, 2018
While he is not in the championship pictures or has his name hanging from banners in Regan Gymnasium, Suffolk University athletic trainer Jeff Stone has certainly been a part of the achievements in the athletics department.
With a professional career that has lasted more than 40 years, Stone is set to rehabilitate some of his last Suffolk student athletes and to retire from the university after all sports come to a close this season.
Today, the athletics department that Stone stepped foot into 14 years ago is almost unrecognizable. While athletes now have a home in East Boston Memorial Park, this has not changed the level of care at which they receive.
During his sophomore year of high school, Stone was sidelined from playing football by his parents for fear of injury. With a love of sports, Stone refused to stay uninvolved and became the team’s manager. He kept track of equipment and scored games for not just football but his school’s track and basketball teams too.
A commitment to athletics, that started early, continued to blossom as Stone became more transparent in the field of Athletic Training. Stone graduated from Northeastern University where he gained experience through a co-op as an athletic trainer at Framingham State College.
“I found the more things that I could do and the more versatile that I could be, the more valuable I was to the people I was working with,” said Stone in a recent interview with The Suffolk Journal. “I couldn’t get on the field so I started doing the stuff on the side and developed a repertoire to do a lot of things.”
Within the Athletics Department, Stone is notorious for his limitless connections in the field of sports medicine. Stone said that these ties stem from places such as Massachusetts General Hospital and former physical therapy specialists for the Red Sox and Bruins.
“He’s just been terrific in taking care of the athletes and clearing them to be on the field, but also when they’re injured getting them back on the field,” said Athletic Director Cary McConnell in an interview with The Journal. “He’s got tremendous resources and contacts that I think our student athletes have benefited from in terms of getting rehab or if they needed to get seen quickly.”
Stone said that he is proud of the university’s program and believes that the athletic care offered could match up with any other Division I school. He explained that the athletic training is so tremendous that often times it frustrates the coaches.
“I’m a surrogate parent and I’m going to be the one that’s going to sit them out when they have a concussion,” said Stone.
For his commitment to athletics, Stone has received many prestigious honors. To name a few, on three different occasions he was named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Athletic Trainer of the Year. In 2012 he was also inducted into the National Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame.
Since his time with Suffolk, Stone explained that he had been around for nearly 20 teams that had made it to GNAC finals.
“I’ve been very fortunate to be here,” said Stone. “I’ve been very fortunate to deal with some excellent coaches and some great student-athletes. I just hope they appreciate the effort that went across to establish a very strong program that looked out for the health and welfare of the student-athletes.”
While his time at Suffolk comes to a close, Stone said that he would still make time for athletic training in his life. He will also spend time working on establishing archives for the National Athletic Training Group.
“I want to be able to walk back here in a couple of years and go to a game and hold my head up and say, ‘yeah, I was part of this,’” said Stone.