Legendary NDSU Athletic Trainer Dr. Denis "Izzy" Isrow Passes Away
Release: December 16, 2012
Legendary North Dakota State University athletic trainer Dr.
Denis “Izzy” Isrow passed away on Sunday, Dec. 16, following a courageous battle with cancer. He was 78 years old.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
"We will miss Izzy a great deal. He had such an impact on our programs in so many ways and he touched the lives of countless individuals that will always remember him with fondness. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Gerry and his children and all who will miss him," said NDSU director of athletics Gene Taylor.
Said NDSU director of sports medicine Scott Woken,"NDSU has lost one of its all-time greats. When you think of Izzy, you think of 'Bison Pride' and 'Once a Bison always a Bison. A great, great person that will be remembered forever. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Isrow family."
Nicknamed the “Father of Athletic Training” in North Dakota in the late 1980’s, “Izzy” joined the NDSU faculty in 1963 as an instructor and coach. He instituted the Athletic Training Program at NDSU in 1968. His incredible career spanned more than five decades.
“Izzy” literally built by hand the strong foundation which the profession has maintained to this day. The first full-time trainer in the state of North Dakota and at North Dakota State University, Dr. Isrow gained wide respect for his training technique and overall program.
However, his job description went way beyond the traditional taping rituals. “Izzy” always had a way with people and went out of his way to be a teacher, listener, friend, healer and psychologist. The combination made him an often-requested author, speaker and clinician.
Dr. Isrow retired from teaching in 2002 after working as Associate Division Director of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics (1981) and as a professor in the College of Human Development and Education. He was named Professor Emeritus serving as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) coordinator at NDSU, and working with Bison student-athletes through the Athletic Academic Program.
An EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) for 35 years, Dr. Isrow taught first aid and CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) for over 40 years. He served as a medic in the North Dakota Air National Guard and the South Dakota Army Guard. “Izzy” also coached youth sports in Fargo for several years.
The honors and accolades were many for the Detroit, Mich., native, even though “Izzy” never had much time for the limelight. He was inducted in the North Central Conference Hall of Fame in 1988, the Bison Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame in 1995. the Mid-America Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame in 1996 and the North Dakota Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame in 1997.
Dr. Isrow attended the University of Detroit before transferring to Adams State (Colo.) College in 1961. While completing his bachelor’s degree he served as a student trainer. He earned his master’s degree from NDSU in 1965 and a doctorate of education from the University of Utah in 1975.
The North Dakota State University athletic training facility at the Fargodome was renamed the Dr. Denis “Izzy” Isrow Bison Athletic Training Room in May 2011.
“Izzy” is survived by his wife, Geraldine, two sons and two daughters.