James Madison University
PHOTO: Tom Kuster

Tom Kuster MS, ATC, PES, CES

Associate AD for Integrated Health & Sports Medicine

  • Office: Godwin 128
  • Phone: 540-568-3893
  • Email: kustertj@jmu.edu
  • Mailing Address:
    MSC 2301
    261 Bluestone Dr.
    Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807


James Madison Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne announced the promotion of longtime sports medicine staff member Tom Kuster to the position of associate athletics director for integrated health and sports performance on Feb. 26, 2016. In his new role, Kuster is responsible for fostering a cooperative and collaborative approach to all aspects of sports medicine and integrated health and sports performance to ensure the best health care and performance services are available to all student-athletes. 
Kuster coordinates the process of cross-disciplinary collaboration with various Integrated Health and Sports Performance personnel and physicians in making post-injury assessments, monitoring and progression of injured student-athletes, return to conditioning programming, return to competition and discharge strategies and sustainability programming for student-athletes. 
Within JMU Athletics, Kuster provides leadership to the areas of Sports Medicine, Strength and Conditioning, Sports Nutrition and Sports Psychology while overseeing a staff of nearly 25 sports medicine and sport performance professionals.  He facilitates the performance team meetings, Dukes C.A.R.E (Care and Recovery Enhancement) team meetings and performance committee meetings.   He also continues to coordinate all the medical services and physician services contracted to support JMU student-athletes.  Kuster serves as a member of the Athletics senior leadership team, and he also continues to partner with the University Health Center regarding the institutional drug testing program and student-athlete wellness education programming.
Kuster most recently served as the assistant athletic director for sports medicine, a role he started in 2006. He earned his undergraduate degree in health sciences with a concentration in athletic training from JMU in 1995. He later served as a graduate assistant athletic trainer at West Virginia University where he received a Master of Science degree in Athletic Training in 1997. While at WVU, Kuster was the educational graduate assistant for their nationally-recognized undergraduate athletic training curriculum program and also served as the athletic trainer for the men's soccer team.

Prior to coming back to JMU, Kuster was the head athletic trainer and lecturer at Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, N.C.  At Pfeiffer, he was responsible for directing the overall sports medicine services for 19 Division II athletic teams, administering the university's athletic insurance program, and teaching within the exercise science/sports medicine curriculum.

Since his return to JMU, Kuster has been actively involved in the athletic training program. He has been a guest lecturer on several occasions for JMU's CAATE accredited athletic training curriculum program, speaking on such topics as emergency preparedness and planning, lower extremity biomechanics and gait analysis, and shoulder biomechanics, evaluation, and rehabilitation.  In addition, Kuster has presented at sports medicince conferences at the state, regional, and national level. He served as the President of  the Virginia Athletic Trainer's Association 2010-2012 and was the President-elect from 2008-2010. He previously held the position of liason to the College/University Athletic Trainers Committee. In 2015, VATA named Kuster the Virginia College/University Athletic Trainer of the Year.

In addition, Kuster is a member of JMU's Clinical Education Advisory Board. Tom was the 2012 recipient of the National Athletic Trainers Association District 3 Athletic Training Service Award.  He is nationally certified by the Board of Certification and is a licensed athletic trainer by the Virginia Board of Medicine.  He also holds advanced certifications as a Performance Enhancement Specialist and Corrective Exercise Specialist from the National Academy of Sports Medicine and is certified in the Functional Movement Screen and Selective Functional Movement Assessment.
Kuster and his wife Bethany reside in Harrisonburg with their two sons, Benjamin and Samuel.



  • On May 20, 2015, the Athletic Training Strategic Alliance announced that the CAATE Standards for Accreditation of Professional Athletic Training Programs will be changed to require that professional programs be at the master’s degree level.  James Madison University is dedicated to meet this accreditation requirement in order to continue providing excellent education to produce strong athletic training health care providers.  Our transition to the master’s degree has begun and will influence students entering JMU as freshman in the fall 2018 semester and thereafter.  These students should refer to information on our Master of Science in Athletic Training Program

    For students who entered JMU in the fall of 2017 or are considering transferring to the University, please note the last admission cycle to the professional phase of the Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training degree program will occur in spring 2019. Students who have completed all required AT courses and general education courses by the end of the 2019 first summer session are eligible to submit their admission application in April 2019.  Admission decisions will be made in July 2019 once the first summer session is complete.  All future students will need to apply to the Master of Science Program.  The final cohort of students seeking the BSAT degree will graduate in May 2021.


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