Brant Berkstresser oversees Harvard's Sports Medicine Department which includes four team physicians, 15 certified athletic trainers, a sports dietician, chiropractor, physical therapist, radiologist technician and athletic training students. Brant works directly with Harvard's football and golf teams. In addition, he is also a preceptor within Boston University, Bridgewater State University, Lasell College and Salem State University CAATE approved undergraduate athletic training programs.
Berkstresser began his tenure at Harvard in July 2008 as the Head Athletic Trainer. He was promoted to Assistant Director of Athletics/Head Athletic Trainer in July of 2009 and most recently promoted to Associate Director of Athletics/Head Athletic Trainer in October of 2013. During his time at Harvard, he has also received numerous awards from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Berkstresser was granted the Impact Leadership Award in 2010 and 2011, an honor that recognizes high achieving employees who consistently exhibit superior performance with exceptional effectiveness. Most recently, he was named a 2013 Dean’s Distinction Award Winner, which recognizes a small number of FAS staff members for their outstanding citizenship and exceptional contributions in support of FAS’s teaching and research mission.
Berkstresser has given presentations for numerous health and safety professional organizations. He was a co-author of "Traumatic Injuries of the Cervical Spine" and co-author of an abstract presented at the 2008 National Strength and Conditioning Symposium, "Physiological and Perceived Psychological Responses of Collegiate Football Athletes to Ventilated Shoulder Pads during a Scrimmage."
He is currently assisting our team physicians on various studies evaluating sudden death in athletics and the effects aerobic and anaerobic training on the heart. The department is also involved with a reputable health care system in concussion research.
Berkstresser also serves as a member for both the Ivy League Ad Hoc Committee on Concussions and is a Core Committee Member of the Big Ten/Ivy League Collaboration on Concussions, where he is involved in research development with both committees.
At the NCAA level, Berkstresser is part of the Bylaw 17 Working Group, Health and Safety Cross Functional Team and currently serves as the chair for the NCAA Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sport Committee.
Berkstresser came to Harvard after spending five years as Georgia Southern University’s Head Athletic Trainer and Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine. While at GSU, Berkstresser oversaw a staff of 11 certified athletic trainers (ATC) and in the care of roughly 400 student-athletes. Berkstresser served as the primary athletic trainer for the football team in addition to managing the entire sports medicine department. Additionally, he also served as a preceptor in their CAATE approved undergraduate athletic training program.
Prior to joining Georgia Southern, Berkstresser served as an assistant athletic trainer at the University of Maryland from 1997-2003, working as the Terrapins' football athletic trainer.
Berkstresser spent four years as assistant athletic trainer at
Kansas State and was the Wildcat men's basketball program's
athletic trainer while also assisting in the athletic training
efforts during football season. He also oversaw efforts in one of
the school's three athletic training rooms.
From 1991-93, he earned an appointment in KSU's graduate assistant program while working on requirements for a master's degree. During the summer of 1990, Berkstresser completed an internship with the New York Jets Football Club.
A native of State College, Pa., Berkstresser earned a Bachelor's Degree in Education with an emphasis in Athletic Training from West Virginia University in 1991 and then earned a Master's Degree in Kinesiology from Kansas State in 1993.
Berkstresser is married to the former Gretchen DeForeest.