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Poole Shatters Glass Ceiling as Texas State's First Female Director of Sports Medicine

Articles for Athletic Trainers and News StoriesWhile we're a little late for this spotlight (with Women’s History Month and National Athletic Training Month happening last month), we wanted to share a significant Texas State University milestone — Aidan Poole has been named the first female Director of Sports Medicine!

Aidan Poole-1Poole, a dedicated alumnus of Texas State's sports medicine program and a native of Weatherford, took on the role in November 2023, following a successful run as Head Softball AT since January of the same year.

With a rich background that includes five years of athletic training experience and a master's degree from Stephen F. Austin University, Poole's journey back to Texas State represents not only a personal achievement but also a broader move toward diversity and inclusion in sports medicine.

Reflecting on her appointment, Poole highlighted the novelty and significance of her position:

"I’m probably one of the youngest directors of sports medicine in the country. Not only that but being a female, I think the position that I’ve ended up in I would have never been ready for without the things that I have gone through."

Her impact is already being felt among female athletes at Texas State, offering a relatable figure who embodies both leadership and dedication. Sophomore catcher Karmyn Bass expressed how Poole's presence creates a more relatable experience for athletes:

“She’s someone that we can look up to. It’s refreshing to be able to see her and know that she is in a high leadership position and does what she can for us.”

Poole credits her predecessor, David Gish, for setting a strong foundation of integrity and student-focused leadership, a legacy she is determined to uphold and build upon.

Since stepping into her role, Poole has worked diligently to forge closer ties with coaches and student-athletes alike, emphasizing a leadership style that values individuals not just as athletes but as people.

The sentiment is echoed by graduate student infielder Sara Vanderford: 

“To have someone who not only cares about your development and rehab, but just you as a person, and checks in, it’s just been nice and I couldn’t have asked [for] anything better from her.” 

Poole herself finds the greatest reward in her job comes from these personal connections, emphasizing the fulfillment derived from supporting athletes in their multifaceted lives.

Groundbreaking strides are being taken under Poole's leadership.

Alison Mitchell, who she hired to be Texas State’s first female Head Athletic Trainer of Football, expressed admiration for the opportunity to work alongside someone who is reshaping the role of women in sports medicine and athletics at large:

"I think she is a trailblazer for women in athletic training, but [also] women in sports and athletics."

Further solidifying her commitment to excellence and growth, Poole has expanded the athletic training department, hiring five new head Athletic Trainers for programs that previously lacked dedicated leadership. This move, according to Mitchell, not only enhances the athletic department but also demonstrates Poole's dedication to elevating Texas State's sports medicine to new heights.

Aidan Poole's story is a testament to the power of belief in oneself, a message she passionately conveys to women everywhere, encouraging them to trust in their readiness and ability to overcome challenges, regardless of the field.

Through her leadership, Poole is not just breaking barriers but is also laying the groundwork for future generations of women in sports medicine to thrive.

Read more on the University Star!