Doug May


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James Douglas May

Written and Submitted by: Lori Moss

Nickname: Pearl Dropper No. 61 (License Number is 61)
Current Position: Retired Athletic Trainer
How did you learn about Athletic Training: “Cramer First Aid and being a student athletic trainer/manager during high school”
Sports Medicine before you were Certified: “Before certification, there wasn’t a term ‘sports medicine’, but we also didn’t have pre-wrap, just cramergesic, hot packs, and nitrotan.”

Advice to new athletic trainers: “It takes three things to heal an athlete…time, treatment, and rehab. The greatest of these three is the rehab. Also, to the young professionals out there taping ankle, length means strength!”
Favorite Memory: “So many, too many”
Favorite Quote from Doug: “Punt me through the goal post of life” and “What will I be when I grow up?”

One of the First

February 5th 1948 in Meridian Mississippi, a Sport Medicine legend was born, an individual who has impacted the Athletic Training Profession from the infancy of credentialing the vocation to what it is today.

Doug began his apprenticeship along Wes Knight (MATA Hall of Famer, former President of the Southern Conference Trainer’s Association and NATA District Trainer’s Association) 'at the University of ‘Ole Miss from 1967-1970. Under the mentorship of Knight, Doug learned how to provide care for the student-athlete. From 1970-1972, Doug traveled down to Florida State, where he further learned how to work with athletes from NATA Hall of Famer, Don Fauls.

After five years with two legends in the field of athletic training, Doug went on to work with athletes at Tennessee Tech, Mississippi State, Mississippi University for Women, the University of Tennessee- Chattanooga, and then the McCallie School for 20 years before retiring. He came out of retirement in 2008 to help his friend, Eddie Davis, at the Baylor School. He initially planned on staying for one year, but one turned into four.

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Throughout his career, Doug was very involved in the athletic training professional organizations, wrote a book with Jim Gallaspy titled “Signs and Symptoms of Athletic Injury”, volunteered at the 1981 Pan Am Games, 1982 World University Games in Japan, and 1984 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Through all those years of service, Doug has had such an impact on the profession of athletic training that he has been inducted into the MATA Hall of Fame, TATS Hall of Fame, SEATA Hall of Fame and NATA Hall of Fame. He has also been recognized as a Distinguished Athletic Trainer, Secondary School Athletic Trainer of the Year, and the Presidential Athletic Training award.

With all the appreciation for his contribution to athletic training, Doug never took himself too seriously. He knew holding a water bottle was just as important as holding c-spine. Doug’s passion to provide the best health care to student-athletes was shown everyday in his athletic training room and throughout his career. From middle school athlete to Olympian, patients had the same medical dose of Doug May!

Impact on the Community

Doug is just a few years older than me so I saw him both as a colleague and a mentor. I always thought he bridged the gap very well between the “old school” athletic trainers and the more modern day athletic trainers. He is always up to date with the latest in the field, but still part of the grassroots of the profession. The field of athletic training owes a lot to Doug.
— Eddie Davis
During 2008-2012, while Doug was at Baylor, Team Mississippi was developed. I was thrown into May’s Academy of ‘Don’t Be Stupid’. Doug would always say, ‘you’ll have a long necklace once I’m done with you’, and he was right! The mentorship given by someone that had such an extensive amount of experience and saw the growth of the profession was a priceless gift of pearls. He was an immeasurable navigator in my own learning of athletic training, and as a mentor, he knew how to push me into becoming more comfortable as a practitioner. I owe so many things to Doug, but one the most cherished parts is our friendship. Thank you ‘Tulsa Time’ for laughter, doug-hnuts, and pearls!
— Lori Moss, ATC Baylor School
It was immediately obvious to me, when I came to the training room at McCallie, how much Doug loved these athletes. Tough love as it was, but for the athletes nonetheless and the desire to help them overcome injury and return to the competition and camaraderie of the sport. A true clinician and healer.
— Fred DeMarco, ATC McCallie School
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