Alamo Area Athletic Trainers’ Association is committed to the encouragement of area collegiate student athletic trainers as they attempt to further their education. The AAATA sponsors a $1500 scholarship to an area collegiate student athletic trainer who is in a CAATE accredited Athletic Training Program or pursuing acceptance into a CAATE accredited Entry-Level Master’s Program.
The Bernie LaReau Memorial Collegiate Scholarship, presented by the AAATA, is to provide a scholarship to a deserving collegiate student athletic trainer already in a CAATE accredited Bachelor’s or Master’s Athletic Training Program or a student pursuing acceptance into a CAATE accredited Entry-Level Master’s Program.
Born on February 26, 1937, Bernard E. LaReau attended Saint Anne High School (Illinois) followed by Saint Joseph’s College, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in 1961. The Chicago Bears conducted their training camp at Saint Joseph’s College, which led Bernie to a position as the Bears’ Head Athletic Trainer from 1958-60.
LaReau became the Indiana Pacers’ first Athletic Trainer for three seasons from 1967-70. The first Pacers training camp was conducted at St. Joseph’s because of LaReau’s connection with the school. He left Indiana after the 1969-70 season when the Pacer’s won their first championship. He then return to the Chicago Bears for three years.
He then became the San Antonio Spurs’ head trainer (1973-1981). “Bernie was a players’ trainer. I know it was his job to look out for us, but he was also a friend off the court. He looked out for the guys big time. We were close and had a lot of fun together.” – Mike Gale, Spurs point guard 1975-81
His career continued in San Antonio at UTSA. During this time, LaReau served as the first President of AAATA and was a co-host of the 1985 NATA convention here in San Antonio. For his role, he was awarded the SWATA Eddie Wojecki Award. In 1987, Bernie headed out west to work with the Los Angeles Clippers. He returned to San Antonio in 1990 where he spent significant time with Incarnate Word College, the World Football League San Antonio Riders, HealthSouth, the Canadian Football League San Antonio Texans, and Trinity University. LaReau continued his career in Illinois at Orthopedic Associates of Kankakee where he retired in 2004.
Bernie LaReau passed away on July 5, 2018 after a lengthy illness. He was 81.