Minnesota Timberwolves announce athletic training staff hires

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the hiring of Koichi Sato as the team’s Director of Sports Performance and Mark Kyger as Director of Athletic Therapy. Both Sato and Kyger will report to Timberwolves Head Athletic Trainer Gregg Farnam.

“We are pleased to welcome Koichi and Mark to our training staff,” Farnam said. “They both have many years of experience in working with athletes and will help us achieve the highest standard possible in the physical preparation and maintenance of our players.”

Sato will be responsible for overseeing all areas relating to performance enhancement. He comes to the Wolves from the Washington Wizards where he was the team’s Rehabilitation Coordinator/Assistant Athletic Trainer since 2008. Prior to that, Sato was an Assistant Athletic Trainer/Performance Specialist for Athletes’ Performance in Los Angeles for one year. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tokyo International University and a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Illinois University. Sato received his Master’s degree in Exercise Science/Physical Education from Arizona State in 2001. From 2000 to 2006, Sato was an Assistant Athletic Trainer for the Sun Devils. He has been a speaker and instructor on different areas of training for the last 10 years.

Kyger will play an integral role in the health care of the Timberwolves players. He comes to the Wolves from Arizona State University where he was the Sun Devils’ Rehabilitation Coordinator, providing physical therapy and athletic training for athletes in the school’s 21 varsity sports since 2007. Prior to that, Kyger was employed by Physiotherapy Associates in Tempe, Ariz., from 2005-07 where he specialized in sports therapy. Kyger received an undergraduate degree in Human Performance and Wellness from Mesa State College and received a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Regis University Ruekert-Hartman School for Health Care Professions. He is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, National Athletic Trainers’ Association, and National Strength and Conditioning Association. Kyger played college basketball at Mesa State, earning four letters and serving as the team’s co-captain in 2000-01.