January 22, 1937—July 26, 2014

Ronald Leonard VanDam was born January 22, 1937, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the son of Rev. Leonard and Marian Perkins VanDam. He married Jonell Willis on May 30, 1964.

Dr. VanDam had a distinguished career as Head Athletic Trainer and Professor at the University of Central Missouri for 31 years. Following his arrival on campus in 1969, he assumed a dual assignment coaching and teaching. He developed the athletic training program into one recognized throughout the country while developing and expanding the Athletic Training Education Program into one of the nation’s premier degree programs for preparing future generations of athletic trainers. During his 31 years at the University of Central Missouri, he was an integral part of 78 MIAA Championships, 41 MIAA Conference Tournament Championships, 26 NCAA Regional Championships, and three NCAA National Championships.

He was elected into four Hall of Fames: Missouri Athletic Trainers Association HOF (1988), Missouri Sports HOF (1988), District 5 Mid-American Athletic Trainers Association HOF (1997), and the University of Central Missouri Sports HOF (2006). In 1993 the Student Trainer Alumni of the University of Central Missouri established the Dr. Ronald VanDam Student Athletic Training Scholarship and in 2011 the new 6,000-square-foot athletic training facility was named the Dr. Ron “Doc” VanDam Athletic Training Facility.

In his spare time, he enjoyed handball, racquetball, reading, fishing, and carving.