Gnade, Simac Join AMR Staff

SPRINGFIELD — Missouri State Athletics will welcome two full-time staff members to the Athletic Medical and Rehabilitation Services staff this year with the addition of newcomers Kara Gnade (guh-NAYD) and Thomas Simac (sim-MACK).

Gnade will work primarily with softball and begins her new role on July 8. Simac will work primarily with the sport of men’s basketball and has an official start date of July 15.

“Kara will be a welcome addition to Missouri State and the AMR staff,” said Jim Penkalski, Assistant AD for Student-Athlete Health and Wellness. “Her experience in high-level Division I athletics, combined with her passion for the sport of softball, make her the ideal choice for our staff. Her high energy and skill set will serve us well.

“We are also excited to bring Thomas on board. His experience and dedication to his continuing education will bring a lot to the table and will serve the our student-athletes and staff well. I believe his energy and professional drive makes him the perfect choice for or men’s basketball position.”

Gnade joins the Missouri State staff after spending the last two years at Texas A&M University. While in College Station, she worked primarily with the Aggies’ men’s and women’s tennis programs, in addition to serving the Aggie Dance Team.
Prior to Texas A&M, she was an athletic trainer at SIU Edwardsville for two years, working with the men’s and women’s cross country and track & field teams from 2020 to 2022.
A native on Monmouth, Iowa, Gnade received her undergraduate degree in Athletic Training from Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa in 2020. She then went on to pursue her master’s in Kinesiology with a focus in Exercise and Sport Psychology from SIUE in 2022.

Simac comes to the Bears after serving as the primary athletic trainer for men’s soccer, softball and golf at University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky. During his three-and-a-half year tenure at Cumberlands (2021 to 2024), he also worked with lacrosse, volleyball and wrestling.

His previous professional work includes time at Lindsey Wilson College (2019-21) where he worked with men’s soccer, swimming and golf, while assisting with basketball, cycling, cross country, track, wrestling and volleyball. His other experience includes work with PRN in Nashville in 2019, time as a graduate assistant at Tennessee Tech in 2018, and work as an undergraduate athletic trainer at North Park University. 

He is a 2018 graduate of North Park University in Chicago where he holds a degree in Athletic Training. He is also completing his graduate studies at Logan University in Chesterfield.

Both hires are contingent upon formal approval by the Missouri State University Board of Governors at its next scheduled meeting.

This article is provided by Missouri State
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