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Sport Science Institute Staff

Brian Hainline, M.D.

Senior vice president; chief medical officer

Brian Hainline, M.D., is the first chief medical officer of the NCAA and oversees the SSI.

For over 20 years, Brian has been actively involved in sports medicine.  He co-authored Drugs and the Athlete, and played a pivotal role the development of drug testing and education protocols worldwide.  He has served on the New York State Athletic Commission, the United States Olympic Committee’s Sports Medicine Committee and was a founding member of the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Neurology Sports Neurology Section, where he serves as vice chair.  

Brian has played a pivotal role in the development of health and safety standards in tennis, both nationally and internationally.  He was chief medical officer of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships for 16 years, and then served as chief medical officer of the United States Tennis Association before moving to the NCAA.  He is chair of the International Tennis Federation Sport Science and Medicine Commission, and oversaw the rollout of international wheelchair tennis competition, for which he wrote the rules of eligibility for both para- and quad-tennis.

Brian is clinical professor of neurology at both the New York University School of Medicine and Indiana University School of Medicine, and an adjunct faculty member of the Department of Health Policy and Management at Indiana University School of Public Health.

John Parsons, PhD, ATC


John Parsons, a BOC certified and state licensed athletic trainer, has spent more than two decades studying, practicing and teaching sports medicine and athletic training. He works alongside Chief Medical Officer Brian Hainline to address problems such as concussion, student-athlete mental health and improving systems that track sports injuries.

Prior to coming to the NCAA, John was a faculty member in the graduate athletic training program at A.T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona, for 17 years, spending the last five as the director of the program. He earned a bachelor's degree in sports medicine from Marietta College, has master of science degrees in exercise science from the University of Arizona and medical informatics from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, and a doctoral degree in organizational communication from Arizona State University. John’s previous patient care experience includes athletic training in the secondary school and clinical settings.

He is a past-president of the Arizona Athletic Trainers’ Association and served on the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s Sports Medicine Advisory Committee. John currently serves on the editorial boards for the Journal of Sports Rehabilitation and the Athletic Training Education Journal, and is a current member of the BOC Standards Committee.  He is an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology in the School of Public Health-Bloomington at Indiana University, and an adjunct clinical associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training at the Sargent College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences at Boston University.

Mary Wilfert, M. Ed.

Associate director

Mary Wilfert has administered the NCAA drug-education and drug-testing programs since 1999 and has worked to promote policies and develop resources to help student-athletes make healthy life choices.  She serves as primary liaison to the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports, the Association-wide committee charged with providing health and safety recommendations to the NCAA membership.  Mary has worked in the health education field for more than 35 years to empower individuals to make informed choices for lifelong health and success. She is also the 2015 recipient of the NCAA President’s Award, one of the highest honors an NCAA staff member can receive.

Mary received her bachelor of science degree in in health education from the University of Dayton and her master of education degree in community health education from the University of Cincinnati.

Dawn Buth, M.A.

Associate director

In September 2015, Dawn Buth joined the SSI. Previously, Dawn served as an associate director for the NCAA leadership development office. Her primary duties included the development and implementation of skill enhancement, professional development and career advancement programs and workshops for student-athletes, coaches and athletics professionals. Buth was the primary administrator for the Emerging Leaders Seminar, Career in Sports Forum, Pathway Program and the NCAA Postgraduate Internship Program.

Prior to joining the NCAA in September 2013, Dawn served as the head women’s tennis coach at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she also received her master’s in public administration. Concurrent with her duties at George Washington, Dawn served as vice president for the Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization, Game Set Ghana, where she currently serves as senior consultant. Prior to her duties at George Washington, Dawn worked as assistant women’s tennis coach at the University of Pennsylvania and played professional tennis on the Women’s Tennis Association tour, capturing more than 13 professional titles and becoming the No. 96-ranked player in the world. A 2002 graduate of the University of Florida, Dawn was a four-year letterwinner in tennis, earned four NCAA championship titles and graduated with honors with a bachelor of arts degree in visual art and minor in environmental studies.

Cassie Folck, M.S.


Cassie Folck joined the SSI in September 2015. She serves as the editor of the SSI Newsletter and oversees the SSI’s social media presence. Cassie is also charged with helping develop a comprehensive communication and brand strategy to address all SSI documents and communications vehicles. Prior to joining the NCAA, Cassie held roles within collegiate sports information and healthcare communications.

Cassie received her bachelor of arts degree in communications from Purdue University and her master of science degree in sport administration from Georgia State University.

Cindy McKinney

Assistant coordinator

Cindy coordinates logistics and registration for SSI meetings, summits, task forces and the Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Aspects of Sports. Cindy started in the health & safety unit for the NCAA in November of 2004 as an administrative assistant. In September of 2006, she became the assistant to the director of the health & safety unit, working with the NCAA Woman of the Year Award, the Gender Equity and Inclusion Forum, along with the Committee on Women’s Athletes. Cindy had a two-year term on the championships staff before working in the NCAA office of inclusion. In the summer of 2014, she joined the SSI as assistant coordinator. 

Terrie M. Meyer

Executive assistant to the chief medical officer

Terrie began working the broadcast unit for the NCAA in 1999 as an administrative and broadcast assistant. In November 2001, Terrie moved into the education services department as the executive assistant to the vice president. In January 2013, she began working for the SSI and student-athlete affairs, splitting her time as executive assistant for both departments. In July 2013, Terrie accepted the full-time position as the executive assistant to the newly created position of chief medical officer. Terrie has more than 30 years of experience in administrative support, extensive event planning, executive level meeting planning, travel coordination, and broadcast production and editing.