By Marta Lawrence
A bus carrying the Mount Union wrestling team was involved in a crash late Tuesday that resulted in the death of Director of Athletic Training Dan Gorman.
Four others were injured in the accident, including a wrestling student-athlete and two coaches. The accident occurred when the team’s bus collided with a state snowplow near Bucyrus, Ohio.
The team was returning to campus from a match at Ohio Northern. The four injured included head coach Mark Hawald, 28; assistant coach Shawn Dreger, 26; wrestler Brad Kress, 19 and Courtney Perrino, 20.
All four were treated and released.
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Dan Gorman and the entire University of Mount Union community following last night’s fatal bus crash involving the wrestling team,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement. “As director of athletic training and as an associate professor, Dan worked to positively impact the lives of many students and student-athletes at Mount Union for 25 years. On behalf of the entire NCAA membership, I want to express my deepest sympathies for this tragic loss.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the athletes, coaches, administrators and their families during this difficult time,” Ohio Northern Director of Athletics Tom Simmons said.
Members of the Bluffton University community, which suffered the loss of five baseball student-athletes in March 2007 after a bus crash in Atlanta, also lent support to Mount Union.
“As a DIII school we understand how this affects the entire campus community,” said Eric Fulcomer, Bluffton’s vice president for enrollment management and student life. “We reached out this morning to our colleagues at Mt. Union to offer our expressions of sympathy, prayers and support.”
The bus, headed east on U.S. Highway 30, was carrying 28 people, including the wrestling team, coaches, statisticians, an athletic trainer and athletic training students. The driver was attempting to pass the plow on the right when the collision happened. Both drivers were uninjured.
Gorman, also an associate professor of human performance and sport business, joined Mount Union in 1985 after serving as assistant professor and director of the athletic training education program and head athletic trainer at Cortland State. The university’s athletic training program recently received the maximum 10-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education.
“Dan Gorman impacted the lives of so many people at Mount Union,” said Melissa Gardner, executive director of marketing. “He played an integral role in building a successful, accredited athletic training program, taught classes within the department of human performance and sport business, served as a certified athletic trainer for the athletic teams on campus and dedicated time as a mentor in the LS 100 program. The number of people he interacted with on a daily basis is endless. We are saddened by the loss of a respected and treasured faculty member, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the Gorman family.”
Gardner said an e-mail was sent to students, faculty and alumni early Wednesday morning, alerting them to the crash. She said the university will likely hold a memorial service to honor Gorman, although no specific plans have been announced.
The crash remains under investigation.