PIKEVILLE, Ky. -- University of Pikeville Director of Athletics Kelly Wells announced Saturday that he has promoted current assistant athletic trainer Emily Atkinson to the vacant head athletic trainer position.

"We are incredibly excited to be able to give Emily this opportunity," Wells said. "She is one of the bright rising stars of this profession and we know that she will continue to do great things by promoting our student-athletes' safety and well-being."

Atkinson, a Sioux City, Iowa native replaces Erica Pitt, who had served as UPIKE's head athletic trainer for four years before leaving to join her husband Jim and head Union University's athletic training staff.

Atkinson, who has served the previous two academic years as assistant athletic trainer, is a graduate of Wayne State College and received her Masters of Athletic Training at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. At UPIKE, she had been responsible for the university's women's soccer, men's basketball, and softball teams.

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