Long-time trainer retires

Megann Rise

Megann Rise

Professor and head athletic trainer Jim Booher will retire June 21.

Booher has been the head of the athletic training department for 42 years and said it was just time to retire.

A replacement has not been chosen yet, but Booher’s legacy will linger on, said his co-worker of 10 years, Professor Mary Beth Zwart.

“He has instilled a great sense of caring and great educational aspects on students. He has left his legacy, and he shows through in his employees and the way that he chose his staff,” Zwart said.

Booher attended Nebraska Wesleyan for his undergraduate degree, and then attended physical therapy school at the Mayo Clinic. Following physical therapy school, Booher was offered a position as head athletic trainer at SDSU. He took a brief sabbatical, finished his doctorate degree at the University of Utah and finally settled in Brookings.

Throughout his 42 years of service to SDSU, Booher has offered many things to the university. He is an adviser to the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has written two textbooks and been inducted into multiple South Dakota Sports Halls of Fame. He also has two endowed scholarships, one created on behalf of him and one donated by him and his wife. The scholarships are to be awarded to future athletic training students.

“He is always calm and willing to help,” said Barb Baumberger, a former SDSU student and current employee. “He gives advice in very few words, and he is straight to the point.”

Booher said he will miss his students the most.

“As an athletic trainer, my responsibility is the health of the athletes,” Booher said. “And the students here, they are all motivated and have good work ethics.”

“His calm reassurance has a history at SDSU,” Zwart said. “And in all that he does, everything revolves around his students.”