LETU Athletic Communications

The East Texas Athletic Trainers Association inducted Portia Phillips, LETU’s Head of Athletic Training into the association’s Hall of Honor recently in a ceremony at the UT Tyler Ornelas Activity Center Ballroom.

“I would like to thank the East Texas Athletic Trainers Association committee for such an honor and the career recognition,” Phillips said. “Thanks to my family for understanding of the long hours and way too many missed family events. I want to thank Ed Sunderland, MS, ATC, LAT for being a great educator, mentor and having that belief that I could one day have an opportunity such as this honor.”

Established in 2021, with the purpose of providing a highly visible and prestigious means of recognizing individuals who significantly contributed to Athletic Training in the East Texas community.

Phillips has over two decades of athletic training experience and the 2022-23 academic year is her 21st year as head athletic trainer at LeTourneau.

“Athletic training has been a servant profession and I owe many thanks to the numerous student athletes that entrusted their health care to me and my staff,” Phillips said. “This recognition doesn’t happen without their trust.”

In the summer of 2015, Phillips received the Longview NAACP 2015 Clifford E Stewart Sportsmanship Award.

She began her career at her alma mater, East Texas State University, as the assistant athletic trainer. In 1997, Phillips earned her national athletic trainer’s certification, becoming one of two African American women to earn the certification nationally and the first in the state of Texas.

After four years at East Texas State, she accepted the head women’s athletic trainer at Louisiana Tech before moving to Longview, Texas. In 2006, Phillips’ collected the Shining Star Award, as voted on by LeTourneau faculty and staff to honor her care, service and relationship building with university students.

Phillips graduated from East Texas State in 1994 with a master’s degree in health, a year after completing her bachelor’s in kinesiology and sports studies.

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