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Oregon St. Hires Football Head Trainer

Ariko Iso <em>(Pittsburgh Steelers Staff Photo)</em>
Ariko Iso (Pittsburgh Steelers Staff Photo)

Oregon St. has announced the hiring of an alum with an extensive resume as the new head football athletic trainer. Ariko Iso, who graduated in 1993 with a bachelor of science degree in health and human performance, comes back to the Beavers from the Pittsburgh Steelers, where she has been an assistant athletic trainer for nearly 9 years.

“I’m very excited for the opportunity that lies ahead at my alma mater,” Iso said. “Oregon State is where I started my athletic training education and I’m looking forward to returning to the beautiful campus after being away for 15 years. I have many fond memories of Corvallis as a student and I’m ready to make more.” 


Iso (pronounced uh-Ree-ko eye-so), was the only female athletic trainer in the NFL, and replaces Barney Graf, who was released amid concerns about the diagnosis and treatment of significant injuries to a number of athletes in a variety of programs.

Before joining the Steelers, where she worked in 3 Super Bowls, Iso had spent five years as the associate athletic trainer for Portland St., where she served as the head football trainer. Her career also includes serving as the assistant athletic trainer at Foothill College in California for nearly three years.

Retired Steelers head coach (and excellent reference) Bill Cowher said "Without a doubt Ariko will be a great asset to Oregon State. She has a great personality, and is very professional and knowledgeable. I have tremendous respect for her."

Iso was also the head trainer at the 2006 World 21 and Under Track Championships, the 2001 World Cross Country Championships, the 1998 Yokohama International Ekiden and the 1996 East-West Shrine Football Game. Additionally, she has worked at the Nike World Master Games, U.S. Mobil Outdoor Track and Field Championships, and at the 1994 World Cup Soccer tournament.

After graduating from Oregon St., Iso earned a master’s of art in physical education from San Jose St. in 1995.