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Otho Davis

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Dec 16, 2021

Otho Leroy Davis was a football athletic trainer. He was the head athletic trainer for Kent State University from 1957-65. In 1965, he moved to Duke University for six seasons. In 1971, O joined the Baltimore Colts for two seasons, his first foray in the NFL.

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American football athletic trainer
Otho Leroy Davis
Personal information
Born: (1934-02-08)February 8, 1934
Elgin, Texas
Died: May 2, 2000(2000-05-02) (aged 66)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Career information
High school: South Park High School (Beaumont, Texas)
College: Lamar University
Kent State University
Career history
As an administrator:
Career highlights and awards
  • NFC Champion (1980)
  • 5× NATA Pro Trainer of the year
  • Horrigan Award (1993)

It was in Philadelphia, however, that Otho Davis became a premiere athletic trainer. Hired by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1973, Davis served as head athletic trainer for the club until his retirement after the 1995 season. He was named Athletic Trainer of the Year five times (1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1987). [1]

For 18 years (1971–1989), Davis served as the executive director of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA). The NATA headquarters in Dallas, Texas was renamed in his honor. In 1981, Davis was inducted into the National Athletic Trainers’ Hall of Fame. One of the highest honors for an athletic trainer to receive.

On May 1, 1993 Davis was also enshrined into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame – Philadelphia Chapter. In 1982, he received the Distinguished Service Award for Sports Medicine from the American Orthopedics Society for Sports Medicine. His other honors include having been inducted into the Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association (Texas and Arkansas) Hall of Fame in 1987 and being a member of “Who’s Who in the East.” He is also a member of the Kent State University Hall of Fame and an Honorary member of the Kent State Varsity “K”. Davis also held memberships in various professional organizations, including the International Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association.

Davis was also nominated in April, 1993 by the Professional Football Writers Association (PFWA) for the Horrigan Award. This honor is bestowed upon the league or club official or player for his qualities and professional style in helping pro football writers do his or her job.

Davis served as the charter president of the Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society.

Davis was a member of the Board of Advisors of the Ed Block Courage Award which honors a player from all 32 NFL teams each season who, in the eyes of their teammates, best displays courage. Davis worked with Ed Block as an Associate Athletic Trainer during his tenure with the Baltimore Colts.

He also was a member of the Board of Governors of the Maxwell Football Club and was a past member of the executive committee of the Professional Football Athletic Trainers’ Society.[2]

A native of Elgin, TX, Davis, 61 (2/8/34), attended South Park High in Beaumont (TX) and later earned a B.S. degree in physical education from Lamar University in 1957 and an M.A. degree in 1964 from Kent State, where he was head athletic trainer from 1957-1965. Prior to that, he served in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corp from 1954-56 with the United States Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and was athletic trainer for the Beaumont (TX) “Exporter” baseball club in 1956.

In 1999, John Madden named Davis to his All Madden Team as the all time athletic trainer. The same year he was named to the Eagles Honor Roll, now known as the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame.[3]

On May 2, 2000, Davis died after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

In 2009, Otho Davis was nominated as the first athletic trainer for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He finished 6th in the fans voting at Fans Choice in his first year of eligibility.

He is the father of four sons: Mark, Harry, Richard, and Tom. He lived in Mount Laurel, NJ for a period of time.

. . . Otho Davis . . .

1987
Chuck Bednarik
Bert Bell
Harold Carmichael
Bill Hewitt
Sonny Jurgensen
Wilbert Montgomery
Earle “Greasy” Neale
Pete Pihos
Ollie Matson
Jim Ringo
Norm Van Brocklin
Steve Van Buren
Alex Wojciechowicz
1988
Bill Bergey
Tommy McDonald
1989
Tom Brookshier
Pete Retzlaff
1990
Timmy Brown
1991
Jerry Sisemore
Stan Walters
1992
Ron Jaworski
1993
Bill Bradley
1994
Dick Vermeil
1995
Jim Gallagher
Mike Quick
1996
Jerome Brown
1999
Otho Davis
1948 and 1949NFL Championship teams
2004
Bob Brown
2005
Reggie White
2009
Randall Cunningham
Al Wistert
2010
1960NFL Championship team
2011
Eric Allen
Jim Johnson
2012
Leo Carlin
Brian Dawkins
Troy Vincent
2013
Donovan McNabb
2015
Brian Westbrook
Maxie Baughan
2016
Jeremiah Trotter
Merrill Reese
2017
David Akers
2018
Seth Joyner
Clyde Simmons
2019
Bobby Walston
2021
Jon Runyan
Tra Thomas

. . . Otho Davis . . .

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. . . Otho Davis . . .