While many of the sports stories that have been coming out as of late have been about the murder of Odin Lloyd and New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez involvement in it, there is some good news for once. That being a Miami Dolphins athletic trainer has won a prestigious award.
The Dolphins today announced that Head Athletic Trainer Kevin O’Neill has been named the recipient of the 2013 Tim Kerin Award for Excellence in Athletic Training. The award was started in 1994 and has been given annually to an athletic trainer that displays the values of Tim Kerin, the former long-time Head Athletic Trainer at the University of Tennessee. A committee selects one recipient annually and presents the award during the NATA Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposia which will take place on June 26, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
For O’Neill, the award has a very special meaning to him as Kerin was actually his mentor.
The two met at Penn Hills High School where O’Neill’s passion for athletic training began with Kerin as his student trainer. The two would go on to work together for ten of the first eleven years of O’Neill’s career which included stops at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Tennessee. So, the award is very special to him.
“To receive an award with Tim’s name on it is a touching and emotional experience for me,” explained O’Neill. “To be mentioned with the previous winners of the award is humbling, the list reads as a who’s who in the profession in athletic training and to now be included with them is an incredible honor.”
O’Neill spent three years as the assistant athletic trainer at the University of Tennessee, four years as the head athletic trainer at Oregon State, one year at the University of Central Florida and four years at the University of Miami. In 1990 O’Neill joined the Dallas Cowboys where he spent the next seven years as the head athletic trainer and was a part of three Super Bowl Championship teams. O’Neill joined the Dolphins in March of 1996.