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May / June 2003

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UMaine Today Magazine

University of Maine Foundation

Wes Jordan
Wes Jordan, a Maine native, earned the first of his two degrees from the university before being hired as head athletic trainer in 1965. During his UMaine career that spanned more than three decades, Jordan was tapped to be an athletic trainer for teams competing in the Pan Am Games, and at the XIII Winter Olympics in 1980. He was inducted into the National Athletic Trainers' Association Hall of Fame.

Photos courtesy of
Fogler Library Special Collections

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In a league of his own

Mark "Rookie" Letendre was 16 when he met the man who changed his life long-time University of Maine head athletic trainer Wes Jordan.

In Jordan's youth clinic for aspiring athletic trainers that summer in 1973, Letendre learned the importance of integrity, honesty and a passion "to do the job right."

Later, as a physical education major at UMaine, Letendre was inspired by Jordan's knowledge, leadership and ability to communicate.

"He was constantly challenging me," says Letendre, a Major League Baseball athletic trainer for the past 25 years. "He always had respect for the status quo and he enjoyed the fun of thinking out of the box."

Hundreds of UMaine students came to know Jordan, considered to be one of the top athletic trainers in the country. He helped make the dreams of student-athletes and aspiring athletic trainers a reality. Now, it's their turn to honor their mentor and role model.

Before his death Feb. 26, 2002, Jordan was working with UMaine to establish an accredited Athletic Training Education Program. To support his efforts, the Wesley D. Jordan Fund was created in the University of Maine Foundation.

The first $500,000 will be earmarked for the renovation of the ground floor of Lengyel Hall into a state-of-the-art athletic training teaching facility the Wes Jordan Athletic Training Education Complex that may be open as early as next year. An additional $250,000 will be raised for student scholarships.

The complex will be home to the Athletic Training Education Program, which could be accredited by 2006, and the Maine Center for Coaching Education, for which an operating endowment will be established.

"Wes created a nationally recognized program that brought great credit to the university and the state, and he put quality people out there who have done the same," says network sports announcer and alumnus Gary Thorne. "The greatest tribute to him is it's carrying on."


UMaine Today Magazine
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