The only head trainer Northern Arizona University has known during its membership in the Big Sky Conference has announced his retirement.

Mike Nesbitt, who also serves as an associate professor in exercise science, will retire from NAU on Aug. 1. He has been with the Lumberjacks since 1970, when NAU became part of the Big Sky.

“Mike is nationally recognized in his field and has earned many well-deserved accolades,” said athletics director Jim Fallis. “We wish Mike the best in retirement. The athletics department will miss his day-to-day contributions, but he has developed a quality staff that I am confident will continue to build on his legacy.”

Fallis announced that Terri Groessl, associate athletic trainer, will assume the head athletic trainer duties on an interim basis until a search for a permanent replacement is completed. Ryan Pinson will assume Groessl’s duties.

“Not only did Mike Nesbitt see to the welfare of the student-athlete, he also was instrumental in developing a bachelor’s degree in athletic training,” said NAU President John Haeger. “His contributions to athletics and academics will be sorely missed.”

Nesbitt is a member of the NAU Athletics Hall of Fame and was inducted into the National Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame in 1994. In 1985 the NAU Alumni Association presented him with the Distinguished Faculty Award.

Nesbitt also is a charter member of the sports medicine section of the Arizona Medical Association and helped launch the Arizona Athletic Trainers Association.