Rams equipment manager earns national honor

Young received the highest national honor in his field this week

Young received the highest national honor in his field this week

April 8, 2011

FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Colorado State's Kris Young has earned the Glenn Sharp Award as the nation's best in his field, the Athletic Equipment Managers Association announced this week.

Young, who begins his 12th year in the Colorado State athletic department, this season, originally joined the staff on July 17, 2000. CSU promoted him to head equipment manager in the summer of 2005.

"It is the highest honor bestowed upon members by the AEMA and may only be awarded to a member once in their lifetime," the organization said in its statement this week.

Young's photo will be displayed on the AEMA Wall of Fame, along with all previous winners, in the exhibition hall at each of the national conventions.  His peers will recognize him and present him formally with the award during the general meeting of the 37th Annual AEMA National Convention in Sacramento, Calif., on June 7.

The AEMA is comprised of 10 districts covering all 50 states, Canada, Japan and Germany. In January, Young's peers nominated him as the Equipment Manager of the Year in District VII, which encompasses Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma, and after a vote of district members, he earned the 2011 Knight-Pickard Award.

Then, the AEMA executive board and past winners of the Glenn Sharp Award nominated Young as one of three finalists. After counting votes from more than 900 members, including high schools, colleges and universities, as well as professional sports, Young received the most prestigious honor in his field.

Young, who received his certification from the AEMA in 2001, has served the AEMA at both the district and national levels. Most recently a member of the executive board as the District VII director since 2008, he also serves as the AEMA national liaison to the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA).

The fourth to win the award from the Mountain West Conference, he joins TCU's Matt Lewis (2010), Air Force's Dan Siermine (2003) and San Diego State's Steve Bartel (1998).

The AEMA strives for the advancement, encouragement and improvement of the profession for the greater safety of participants in all sports, while creating professional growth through research, education, innovation, commitment and advancement for all members. 

Young administers Colorado State's athletic equipment needs for each of its 16 intercollegiate sports. He works primarily with football and golf, and oversees several employees. From bidding and ordering to outfitting, cleaning, repair, inventory and maintenance, he and his staff are accountable for the attire, footwear, protective gear, on-field practice equipment, and customized accessories for CSU's student-athletes and coaches. He also supervises the transportation of the Rams' football equipment to and from road trips.

Young and his staff work tirelessly to provide student-athletes equipment designed for ultimate protection and safety during practice and competition. In hot weather, he utilizes various moisture-wicking clothing to help prevent heat-related health issues, and during winter periods he's ready with cold-weather gear.

All of Young's efforts are focused on providing student-athletes an opportunity to compete at the highest level possible, while utilizing the finest equipment available.

Young initially came to Fort Collins as the Rams' assistant equipment manager prior the 2000-01 academic year. His sport responsibilities in that role were men's and women's basketball, volleyball, track and field, tennis, swimming and diving, softball, and men's and women's golf.

Before his CSU tenure, Young was interim head equipment manager at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga (2000). As an undergraduate at UTC, he was a student assistant in the Mocs' equipment room, sports information office and athletic training room, where he also assisted with team travel.

During his time in Chattanooga, Young played an important postseason role in several NCAA and conference events, such as the 2000 softball regional, the 2000 women's NIT and the 1997-99 Division I-AA national football championship games. He also assisted with football team travel.

A 2000 graduate of the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, Young owns a bachelor's degree in sports administration.

Born in Gadsden, Ala., he graduated from Hokes Bluff (Ala.) High School.

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