PERKINSTON – Despite her relative youth, Dana Sharp, MS, ATC, knows her way around Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and its athletic department.
After having spent most of the last 10 years working in the training room in various capacities, it was an easy decision to name Sharp the new head athletic trainer.
“The MGCCC Athletic Department is proud for Dana and also excited for our athletic teams,” Gulf Coast Dean of Athletics Bert Pickard said. “Dana has shown through her experience at Gulf Coast that she is highly skilled and dedicated to our programs. She will excel as a leader over the Athletic Training Department.”
Sharp, who works for Encore Rehabilitation, graduated from Stone High and then from MGCCC. While going to school on the Perkinston Campus, she started working as a student athletic trainer.
She went on to the University of Southern Mississippi, where she got her bachelor’s in athletic training. Sharp returned to Gulf Coast as a graduate assistant while working on her master’s in sports management at USM.
After spending one year as the trainer at Pass Christian High School, Sharp was back with Gulf Coast in 2011 as assistant athletic trainer.
“I grew up here around Wiggins and I know everybody around here,” she said. “I went to school here for two years, and then I came back and was a graduate assistant under Danny for two years. I always wanted to come back.”
When Danny Anderson, her boss, left the profession, Sharp was the logical choice to take over.
“It just made sense,” said Eric Oehms, M.S., ATC, sports medicine coordinator for Encore Rehabilitation. “She’s a local girl. She went to school there, she was a GA there. She’s good at what she does.
“She has everyone’s respect up there. She respects the coaches and gets along great. It just made sense to promote her. I think she’s going to do a great job there.”
Encore Rehabilitation provides the athletic trainers and a physical therapist. The company has worked with Gulf Coast since 2000.
Sharp has been working double duty until a new assistant is hired, but she’s not complaining. She likes the relationship with the Gulf Coast coaches, which helps fuel her enthusiasm.
“All of them have been great,” she said. “It’s an exciting thing to come to work. It’s definitely a dream come true. I think it’s a great opportunity for me.”
2015: Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Head Athletic Trainer
2011-2014: Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Assistant Athletic Trainer at MGCCC
2010-2011: Pass Christian High School, Athletic Trainer
2008-2010: Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer
2010: University of Southern Mississippi, Master’s in Sports Management
2008: University of Southern Mississippi, Bachelors of Science in Athletic Training
2006-2008: University of Southern Mississippi, Athletic Training student with Football, Women’s Basketball, and Tennis
2006: Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College graduate
2004-2006: Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Student Athletic Trainer
2004: Stone High School graduate
CPR/AED certification since 2006
National Athletic Trainer’s Association member since 2010