Brant Berkstresser oversees the Harvard sports medicine department which includes multiple team physicians, fifteen certified athletic trainers, sports dietician, chiropractor, radiologist technician and athletic training students. The department serves all 42 varsity sports. Brant works directly with Harvard's football team. In addition, he is also a preceptor within Boston University, Bridgewater State University, Lasell College and Salem State University undergraduate athletic training programs.
Berkstresser began his tenure at Harvard in July 2008 as the Head Athletic Trainer. He was promoted to Assistant Director of Athletics/Head Athletic Trainer in July of 2009 and most recently promoted to Associate Director of Athletics/Head Athletic Trainer in October of 2013. During his time here at Harvard, he has also received several awards from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, which oversees the athletic department. He was granted the Impact Leadership Award in 2010 and 2011, which recognizes high-achieving employees who consistently exhibit superior performance with exceptional effectiveness. Most recently he was a 2013 Dean’s Distinction Award Winner, which recognizes a small number of FAS staff members for their outstanding citizenship and exceptional contributions in support of FAS’s teaching and research mission.
Berkstresser has given national and international presentations for numerous health and safety professional organizations. He is a co-author of journal articles related to cardiology and orthopedic injury management.
He is currently assisting our team physicians on various studies evaluating the use of EKG screening as part of the pre-participation physical exam and the effects of aerobic and anaerobic training on cardiac function through The Harvard Athlete Initiative. In addition, he is involved with a concussion epidemiology study with the Ivy League and Big Ten Conferences, as well as a long-term longitudinal concussion study with the Harvard Medical School, “The assessment of blood serum biomarkers, neurophysiological function, and balance control, after concussion in collegiate athletes”.
He has served in numerous capacities within the Ivy League. At present time he is a committee member of the Ivy League Review of Autonomy Legislation. In addition, he serves as a member of the Ivy League Ad Hoc Committee on Concussions and a past core committee member of the Big Ten/Ivy League Collaboration on Concussions.
At the national level, Berkstresser currently serves on the National Athletic Trainer’s Association Intercollegiate Council on Sports Medicine and the National Collegiate Athletic Association Concussion Safety Protocol Committee. He served on the NCAA Bylaw 17 Working Group, Health and Safety Cross Functional Team and was the Chair for the NCAA Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sport Committee.
Berkstresser came to Harvard after spending five years as Georgia Southern University’s Head Athletic Trainer and Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine. While at GSU, Berkstresser oversaw a staff of eleven certified athletic trainers (ATC) and in the care of roughly 400 student-athletes. Additionally, he also served as a preceptor in their undergraduate athletic training program.
Prior to joining Georgia Southern, Berkstresser served as an assistant athletic trainer at the University of Maryland from 1997-2003, working as one of the Terrapins' football athletic trainer.
Berkstresser previously spent four years as assistant athletic trainer at Kansas State and was the Wildcat men's basketball program's athletic trainer while also assisting in the athletic training efforts during football season.
From 1991-93, he earned an appointment in KSU's graduate assistant program while working on requirements for a master's degree. During the summer of 1990, Berkstresser completed an internship with the New York Jets Football Club.
A native of State College, Pennsylvania, Berkstresser earned a Bachelor's Degree in Education with an emphasis in Athletic Training from West Virginia University in 1991 and then earned a Master's Degree in Kinesiology from Kansas State in 1993.
Berkstresser is married to the former Gretchen DeForeest.