Published Friday, January 18, 2013
By CHRIS GOLTERMANN
The 2012-13 school year became the last for Coweta’s beloved high school athletic trainers — better known by their peers around the state as the “Three Amigos.”
But they have continued to earn the respect of colleagues in the Georgia Athletic Trainers Association.
Following his official retirement on Dec. 1 following 32 years at Ruth Hill Elementary School and working as head trainer at Newnan High, James “Radar” Brantley will be honored with his induction into the GATA’s Hall of Fame on Saturday at 11:30 a.m., during the association’s annual meeting at the Wyndham Peachtree Conference Center.
He becomes just the seventh Hall of Fame member in the GATA since 2003.
The honor is the highest bestowed by the organization, given to those who have provided exemplary contributions to the profession of athletic training at the local, state or national level. They may include endeavors in education, speaking, research, scholarly writing or community involvement with a significant portion of experience spent in Georgia.
In his 32 years as Newnan High’s fourth athletic trainer in the school’s history, Brantley only missed one football game during his career. He arrived in July, 1981 while also put in charge of athletic equipment after being hired out of Troy State by then AD and head football coach Max Bass, who was influential in bringing athletic trainers into the high schools.
“He was just super with the kids,” Bass told The Newnan Times-Herald last month of Brantley. “He was such an asset with the program. He really took care of those boys and girls. It was just a real comfort to me to have him there and do those things.”
Brantley joined East Coweta High’s Lloyd Knott, who also retired Dec. 1 following 28 1/2 years, and the late Dale Krach at Northgate High, in providing exemplary medical care to athletics both within the county and its visiting teams at a level unmatched in most areas of the state.
Together with well over 75 years of combined service, they were known as the “Three Amigos.”
“We go places you don’t see one of us without seeing the others an arm distance away,” said Brantley previously in the Times-Herald.
The three worked hand-in-hand with the county physicians, especially the specialists at Georgia Bone and Joint in making sure athletes were treated as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“Radar’s longevity is a testament to his ability to adapt and keep himself evolving, not only with new concepts in the world of sports medicine, but also to a new generation of students, parents, coaches and administration,” said former GATA President Tom Bair, who nominated Brantley for the honor.
The process was then concluded by a vote of Brantley’s peers through a committee, something that wasn’t remiss with him in receiving the honor. He previously was named GATA Trainer of the Year in 2006.
“It’s a big deal to be selected by your peers,” he said of the Hall of Fame. “It’s a big honor.”
Brantley and wife, Susan, a teacher at Arnco-Sargent have two sons, Asher, a senior at Valdosta State, and Mason, a freshman at Georgia Tech.