LOGAN, Utah — Utah State's head athletic trainer Mike Williams announced Monday that Sam Gay has been named assistant athletic trainer for USU. Gay began his duties on July 1 and will work primarily with the Aggies' men's basketball team as well as providing support for USU's other 15 NCAA Division I programs.

Gay returns to USU, where he earned his master's degree in health physical education and recreation in 2010. With USU, Gay was the primary athletic trainer for the Aggie cross-country and track and field programs, as well as assisting with the football program.

"Sam did his graduate work at Utah State and then went on to the NFL and University of the Pacific," Williams said. "He did a great job for us and having him back to help within our athletics department and continue to help with our current and future graduate students will only enhance and improve the healthcare of our student-athletes as well as improve the educational opportunities for our graduate students. It is always nice when your students have excelled and you can bring them back to share that education with others. Sam, his wife Sabrina and son Oliver are welcomed additions to the Aggie family."

Gay comes to Utah State after two years at University of the Pacific, working with the Tigers' women's volleyball and baseball programs. Additionally, Gay was in charge of all insurance claims for Pacific's Athletic Training department as well as training of the graduate assistants and undergraduate athletic training students. At Pacific, Gay worked under Pacific head athletic trainer Chris Pond, who is in his 22nd year at Pacific and is a 1988 graduate of Utah State. Gay also worked with Sara Vargas, who was a fellow graduate assistant at USU with Gay from 2008-10.

"I am extremely excited for the opportunity to come back to Utah State and work with a terrific athletic training program as well as with a very successful basketball program," Gay said. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mike Williams and it is a great privilege for me to have this opportunity to join the storied success of the Utah State athletic training and sports medicine program. I learned a lot from Dale Mildenberger, Mike Williams and Fawn Michel during my time here and I'm anxious to continue that tradition of excellence with Mike and Fawn. I love the USU campus and the community with its support of Aggie Athletics, and I am very excited to have my family here to be a part of the Aggie family and be part of this community."

Before Pacific, Gay was an intern athletic trainer for the San Francisco 49ers.

A native of Port Angeles, Wash., Gay earned his bachelor's degree in athletic training, with a double minor in health sciences and coaching basketball from Eastern Washington in 2008. At EWU, Gay worked with the Eagles' men's basketball program, in addition to the men's and women's tennis programs, along with assisting with the football program.

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.