Joe Whitson is the primary athletic trainer for the Illinois State football team, a position he has held since 2006. In his first season at ISU in 2005, Whitson worked directly with the Redbird volleyball and swimming and diving programs. As an associate athletic trainer, Whitson also supervises the department's graduate assistant athletic trainers.
In November 2007, Whitson was selected to represent region three on the Illinois Athletic Trainers' Association Board of Directors and in 2009, he was named Vice President of the Illinois Athletic Trainers' Association.
Prior to joining the Illinois State staff, Whitson worked two years at Carson-Newman College. He spent the first year as the assistant athletic trainer, before being promoted to associate athletic trainer. Whitson assisted with the Eagle football team, while overseeing all athletic-training needs for the baseball, volleyball and men's and women's basketball teams.
In addition to his on-field duties at Carson-Newman, Whitson also served as an instructor for undergraduate coursework in athletic training.
Whitson began his athletic training career as a student athletic trainer at East Tennessee State. He worked for four years before earning his bachelor's degree in 2001. As a student athletic trainer, Whitson worked extensively with football, baseball and men's basketball.
Whitson also worked one summer with the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, before beginning his graduate assistantship at Virginia Tech. With the Hokies, Whitson was assigned to football and cheerleading. He also served as a manager at one of Gatorade's 13 national summer camps.
He earned his master's degree from Virginia Tech in 2002, and is married to the former Emily Reliford. The couple resides in Mackinaw, Ill., and have two children, Katie Jo and Haden.