TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays are hiring Nikki Huffman as their new head athletic trainer, multiple industry sources told Sportsnet on Wednesday.
Huffman served as the club’s head physical therapist last season after being hired the previous year as the organization’s first physical therapist and rehab co-ordinator.
She replaces George Poulis, who recently left for the Atlanta Braves after 15 years as head trainer and three more as an assistant with the Blue Jays. Former assistant athletic trainer Mike Frostad and strength and conditioning head Chris Joyner were fired earlier in the off-season.
Huffman heads a reconfigured staff that includes Jose Ministral, promoted to assistant athletic trainer from minor-league athletic training co-ordinator, and new head of strength and conditioning Donovan Santas, promoted after holding the same position on the minor-league side.
Assistant strength and conditioning co-ordinator Scott Weberg remains in his current role.
A former basketball and lacrosse player at Averett University, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in athletic training, Huffman has a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences.
She also completed a post-professional sports residency and Division I sports fellowship at Duke University, where she worked with Marcus Stroman after he tore the anterior-cruciate ligament in his left knee in the spring of 2015.