Plans to introduce a sports medicine clinic at the University of Alberta began in 1986. The official opening of the Glen Sather Sports Medicine Clinic was celebrated with the inaugural Carnival of Champions on October 11, 1988. Dr. David Reid served as the founding director of the clinic and his expertise, along with the support of many people from the U of A, the public sector, and the private sector helped establish this world-renowned centre.

The clinic's name honours former Edmonton Oilers coach and executive, Glen Sather, who championed preventive sports medicine and innovative connections with the U of A. Sather and the Oilers worked with the Edmonton Eskimos to create the Carnival of Champions to help raise money for the clinic - a fundraiser that proved so successful it grew and eventually became the Edmonton Oilers Foundation.

In 2012, the clinic moved from the Van Vliet Centre (beside the Butterdome) to the more expansive quarters in the Kaye Edmonton Clinic, which is located in the heart of the U of A's health sciences facilities. It also has a new administrative home with Campus Services.

Over the years, the Glen Sather has grown to encompass the work of dozens of professionals who specialize in the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of orthopedic and sports-related injuries. These professionals include sports medicine physicians, orthopedic surgeons, physicians specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation, physical therapists, massage therapists and orthotists.