Dodgers hire Conte as head trainer

Dodgers hire Conte as head trainer

Stan Conte, who spent 15 years with San Francisco and the last seven as head trainer/physical therapist, was named on Friday as the director of medical services and head athletic trainer of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Conte announced early last week he was seeking another position, and his connection with Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti -- the former assistant to Giants GM Brian Sabean -- was undoubtedly a great influence in the hiring.

"Stan is an expert in physical therapy and conditioning in professional sports, and when he became available, we jumped at the chance to add him to our team," said Colletti. "He is a progressive thinker and a leader in this field."

With the Dodgers organization, Conte will oversee all medical programs, including athletic training, physical therapy, rehabilitation, strength and conditioning, along with the club's relationship with Athlete Performance Institute (API), which began last season.

Conte also will oversee the training, strength and conditioning of the Dodgers' Minor League players.

"I have the utmost respect for the Dodger organization and am here to make a program that is very good even better," said Conte, who was instrumental in redesigning San Francisco's strength and conditioning program in 1997 and was promoted to head trainer in 2000.

Before that, Conte was the club's assistant athletic trainer and coordinator of strength and rehabilitation for eight seasons. He is also an author and lecturer, and has nearly completed his doctorate in physical therapy from Boston University.

The Dodgers announced that Stan Johnston, the club's head athletic trainer the past seven years, will work directly with Conte on all club medical issues.

"Stan and I have known each other professionally for years, and as the club continues to invest in its health and conditioning programs, he will be a valuable addition to the team," said Johnston.

Although on the surface it appears the Giants had a frightful number of injuries the past eight years -- especially during the past two seasons -- baseball data showed only the Chicago White Sox spent fewer days on the disabled list from 1997 to 2004.

Dodgers players spent 639 days on the DL during the first half of 2006, the second-highest total in the Majors, while in 2005, Los Angeles logged 1,366 days on the disabled list, third-most among all teams.

Rich Draper is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.