Dedication Ceremony Honors Two Who Keep Athletes Going

Dr. M. Benjamin Burton (left) shakes hands with fellow honoree John Davis at the dedication of the John Davis and Dr. M. Benjamin Burton Athletic Training and Sports Medicine Center.

For over a quarter of a century, John Davis has spent countless hours providing the student athletes at Montclair State with the highest level of athletic training care. Whether he was working in a converted locker room, or a garage that was transformed into an athletic training room, Davis and his staff have been an integral part in the success of Montclair State athletics.

But after years of performing his job in makeshift classrooms, on the sidelines, and even in an equipment shed, he finally has a room that he can call his own—in more ways than one.

On March 28, 2010, Davis, along with his colleague Dr. M. Benjamin Burton, was granted one of the highest honors one can receive as the University announced the naming of its new Athletic Training facility as the John Davis and Dr. M. Benjamin Burton Athletic Training and Sports Medicine Center.

“The dedication of the John Davis and Dr. M. Benjamin Burton Athletic Training and Sports Medicine Center offers us an opportunity to recognize the significant contributions of Ben Burton and John Davis,” said Director of Athletics Holly Gera. “Ben has been a tremendous friend of Montclair State athletics and the athletic training program. His assistance in diagnosing and rehabilitating our student- athletes is very much appreciated. We are proud to honor him in this naming of our facility along with John.”

For the past 25 years, Davis has served as the Head Athletic Trainer at Montclair State, providing athletic training care to the teams that Montclair State sponsors (currently there are 17 teams). He has been instrumental in turning the Montclair State Athletic Training program into one of the most reputable, not only in New Jersey, but on the East Coast.

“I can't say enough about the dedicated and loyal service of John Davis” said Gera. “John has touched many lives both as a clinician and a teacher during his tenure at Montclair State. He represents the very best example of successful collaboration between academics and practical applications, all to the benefit of our students.”

Burton has been with Montclair State since 1994, providing care to student- athletes and serving as an adjunct instructor. He specializes in orthopedic and sports-related injuries for patients of all ages with special interest in knee, shoulder, and spinal pathology, and is the owner of a thriving practice, The New Jersey Center of Physical Therapy, located in Riverdale, New Jersey.

A Certified Athletic Trainer, Burton is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and is currently the only physical therapist in New Jersey who is Board certified in both orthopedic and sports physical therapy by the American Physical Therapy Association.

“I am extremely humbled and appreciative to have this honor bestowed on me,” said Burton. “In addition, to celebrate this honor with John holds a very special meaning for me. For the past 15 years, we have shared a relationship that has evolved from teacher-student to respected friend and colleague. To have my name next to his on this facility is truly an overwhelming honor.”

Davis had similar feelings. “This event was a humbling and wonderful experience,” he said. “I looked at this celebration not only as an acknowledgment of my accomplishments and tenure at Montclair, but also as a reflection of the hard work, dedication, and excellence of my colleagues and students for the past 25 years. I am just the face of a great team effort.”