Top Researcher and Kansas Coaching Legend Breathe New Life into Sports Medicine

Posted by | September 17, 2010 | News & Events | No Comments
Dr. Michelle Reillo (left) and Coach Marian Washington visited the Academy's campus to demonstrate a portable Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy chamber.

Dr. Michelle Reillo (left) and Coach Marian Washington visited the Academy’s campus to demonstrate a portable Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy chamber.

An established health researcher and a longtime University of Kansas women’s basketball coach have teamed up to introduce a new way of helping a form of oxygen therapy revolutionize sports medicine at all levels.

Dr. Michelle Reillo, a former education professor at the College of Notre Dame in Maryland, is the Director of the Hyperbaric Treatment Association (HTA). Her associate is Marian Washington, who coached the Jayhawks for 31 years and coached basketball internationally before retiring in 2004.

The two recently visited the Academy’s campus to donate and demonstrate a portable Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) unit. HBOT involves the administration of oxygen to a human being within a pressurized vessel. A medical application originally used in the military and primarily used by the naval forces, HBOT has been used effectively to treat non-healing wounds, decompression sickness, and crushing injuries. The new portable unit will allow athletic trainers, coaches, and other sport professionals to use this method to treat athletes.

Reillo brings with her a diverse academic background. She has a Ph. D in education and a master’s in gerontology from the College of Notre Dame. She taught research, design, and quantitative statistics, and was also one of Maryland’s leading HIV researchers, having worked with the state of Maryland, the Center for Disease Control, and the University of Maryland at Baltimore on research and treatment for AIDS.

Washington, who was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame after her retirement, led Kansas to 11 NCAA postseason Tournament appearances and twice went to the Sweet Sixteen. She was the first African-American to coach an Olympic women’s basketball team, serving as an assistant on the 1996 U.S. Olympic gold medal winning team. She was the first African-American woman to serve as head coach for a U.S. international team, guiding the 1982 U.S. Select team to a silver medal in Taiwan. Washington was named conference coach of the year three times and was named Coach of the Year by the Black Coaches Association twice.

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