Don Kessler, MEd, ATC is the Athletic Trainer for BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training) at the Naval Special Warfare Center in Coronado, CA. He has held that position for seven years, overseeing SEAL candidates in training.
Kessler has been an Athletic Trainer for 45 years, working at the Naval Academy, Princeton University and Delran High School (NJ). He was the Head Athletic Trainer at Rutgers University for 18 years, and also served in that position at San Diego State. He was the primary athletic trainer for the gold-medal U.S. Olympic crew team at the 2004 Games in Athens. He has also worked and traveled with U.S. Soccer teams (men’s and women’s World Cup), USRowing and USA Water Polo.
Kessler is a past President of the Athletic Trainers Society of New Jersey (ATSNJ), and from 1993-94 he was President of the Eastern Athletic Trainers Association (EATA). He has also served as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Athletic Trainer’s Association Research & Education Foundation. In 1996, he was recognized for distinguished service by both the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) and the Athletic Trainers Society of New Jersey (ATSNJ), and was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the ATSNJ in March, 1998.
Don is an avid runner and has been racing for over 50 years. He held records in high school and garnered eight varsity letters in college, competing in soccer, cross country and track. He also runs road races and Masters track. He ran the Boston Marathon in 2001 and remains an age group winner in local San Diego road races.