Jim Madaleno Honored with Inaugural James R. Andrews Award

Jim Madaleno Honored with Inaugural James R. Andrews Award

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Jim Madaleno, who spent 14 seasons as the director of sports medicine at UK Athletics and is currently the executive associate athletics director for sports medicine and performance, was honored recently by the Southern Orthopaedic Association as its inaugural winner of The James R. Andrews Award.

The award, named after legendary orthopedic surgeon James R. Andrews, seeks to honor an athletic trainer for excellence and lifelong commitment to the field of sports medicine and care of Southeastern Conference student-athletes. The SOA surprised Andrews by naming the award after him recently at the SEC Physicians’ Meeting and chose Madaleno as the inaugural winner of the award.

“Dr. Andrews has been a great friend and incredible advocate to the Southern Orthopaedic Association and everyone in sports medicine for many, many years. This award was a way for us to honor his legacy across the country and show him how much respect we have for all he has done,” said Dr. Scott D. Mair, who has been an orthopaedic team physician for UK Athletics for over 20 years. “When Dr. Jeff Guy (University of South Carolina Athletics) and I started talking about how we could honor Dr. Andrews, naming an award after him that recognized an athletic trainer seemed appropriate, as he has always been a huge advocate for the importance of trainers to the sports medicine team. Jim Madaleno seemed like the perfect fit to be the inaugural recipient. Jim’s legacy in sports medicine is extraordinary, beyond providing exceptional, first-class care to his student-athletes for decades, Jim has helped mentor some of today’s top athletic trainers nationwide. The Southern Orthopaedic Association was overjoyed to be able to surprise and honor both at the SEC Physicians’ Meeting.”

Madaleno began working at UK Athletics in 1997 as head athletic trainer for Kentucky football and continued that role through the 2018 season before being elevated to his current role in executive staff. In 2021, Madaleno along with the other members of the Southeastern Conference’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force, received the Michael L. Slive Distinguished Service Award. Madaleno won the 2018 Chris Patrick Award by the SEC Sports Medicine Committee, which recognizes worth ethic, loyalty and a caring nature to student athletes.

“I was both totally surprised and extremely humbled to receive this award,” said Madaleno. “To be recognized by such a prestigious group as the Southern Orthopaedic Association and then be presented the inaugural award by James R. Andrews himself, was one of the highlights of my entire 41-year career.”

Originally from Dearborn, Michigan, Madaleno has mentored some of the best sports medicine professionals in the country, including the head athletic trainers at the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins and Seattle Kraken. His proteges are also currently head athletic trainers or directors of sports medicine at Alabama, Florida, LSU, Ole Miss, Florida State and Wichita State.

Madaleno came to Kentucky from Valdosta State where he was head athletic trainer from 1989-97 and also served as assistant athletics director for sports medicine. He began his athletic training career as a athletic trainer student at Michigan State, where he graduated in 1980. Madaleno was a graduate assistant athletic trainer at Florida State in 1980-81, earning a master’s in the department of movement science. He also spent time in the NFL with the New York Giants and was on staff when the Giants won the 1987 Super Bowl over Denver.

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