Jenny Moshak was more than an athletic trainer in the eyes of the Tennessee women’s basketball players.
Several former Lady Vols described the former associate director of sports medicine as everything from a second mother to a foundation-like figure in the women’s athletic department.
Moshak, who had worked at UT for 24 years, took an early retirement on Thursday. In a statement issued Friday through her lawyer, Keith D. Stewart, Moshak cited the university’s unwillingess to address “issues of discrimination and retaliation” as reason for her decision.
“She was like a mom to me,” said former point guard Cait McMahan, whose playing career was cut short by knee problems. “You can’t replace Jenny Moshak. It’s impossible. I feel sorry for what’s going on (at UT).”
Abby Conklin, who played with a broken toe during an improbable national championship run in 1997, mentioned Moshak in the same breath with former coach Pat Summitt and current coach Holly Warlick.
“To me she’s like Pat and Holly, the foundation of the Lady Vols,” Conklin said. “She was one of the pillar people.”
Conklin said that Moshak not only helped players recover from injuries but also assisted in handling the daily rigors of a demanding program.
“It was hard playing for Pat,” Conklin said. “She never did anything to be disloyal to Pat but she helped us through the tough times.”
Former All-American Chamique Holdsclaw described Moshak as a mediator of sorts between the players and coaches.
“She has a special gift,” Holdsclaw said. “Not every trainer can fill that role. Jenny did it so well.”
Holdsclaw referred to the circumstances surrounding Moshak’s retirement as “unfortunate.”
“At the end of the day, people have to do what’s right for them, what they believe in,” Holdsclaw said. “Maybe her purpose is to go on and inspire other people.”