WVSU On Demand
July 1, 2009
Head Athletic Trainer Kendrick Retires
Wayne Kendrick, who has served as head athletic trainer for the last 10 of his 13 years on the Samford sports medicine staff, retired June 30.
"Wayne was simply one of the finest athletic trainers that an athletics department could ever hope to have on its side," Director of Athletics Bob Roller said. "He took care of our student-athletes physically, spiritually and mentally. Everyone knew how much he cared for them. They don't make head athletic trainers like that anymore!"
Michelle Johnson, who will succeed Kendrick as Samford's head athletic trainer, has worked under Kendrick for the past four years, including the last year as associate head athletic trainer.
"Wayne is the best kind of boss you can work for," Johnson said. "He motivates the employees to want to work hard and enjoy their jobs. He created a great family environment and really made us want to take care of each other and work hard for each other."
Johnson said she hopes to follow the great example Kendrick set for her and the entire sports medicine staff.
"I just hope I can be half the boss he has been and can motivate people the way he has," Johnson said. "He built a great foundation for us here at Samford in the sports medicine department and I am just hoping to make him proud so he can be proud of what we do with what he has provided for us."
Kendrick, a 1970 Samford graduate, came back to work at his alma mater in 1996 as an associate athletic trainer. Kendrick stayed in that position before being promoted to head athletic trainer on Mar. 2, 1999.
In his time at Samford, Kendrick has mentored many assistant and associate athletic trainers, graduate assistants and student assistants. He has had a profound effect on everyone who has worked with and under him at Samford.
"He led by example and was a great example for us," Johnson said. "He did all of the things he expected everyone else to do. He was the epitome of how to be a supervisor or manager and still uphold all the values of being a great Christian man, while also showing us the way to be successful in our careers."
Kendrick examines Jonathan Lowery during his last Samford home game against Wofford.
In addition to the athletic trainers he worked with, Kendrick has also had a major impact with the players he dealt with as well. Quinton Smith, a former Samford linebacker, said Kendrick is someone the players could look up to.
"Early in my career I got hurt a lot and he always took care of me and had a great relationship with my family and me," Smith said. "He was always a mentor and father-figure in addition to being a great trainer. He is just a great, Godly man."
Dr. Larry Lemak, one of Samford's team physicians who has worked with Kendrick for many years said Kendrick has been a pleasure to work with over the years.
"Wayne has been a long-time colleague and friend," Dr. Lemak said. "While we hate to see him retire, he deserves to retire because he has devoted his life to sports medicine. He has done an excellent job for Samford and its student-athletes."
Prior to coming to Samford, Kendrick spent 26 years as an athletic trainer, teacher and coach at the high school level. During his time at the high school level, Kendrick worked at Hueytown High School (1970-73), Berry High School (1973-88) and Hoover High School (1988-96).
During his impressive career as an athletic trainer, Kendrick has earned many honors, including being inducted into the Alabama Athletic Trainers' Association Hall of Fame in 2001.
Kendrick has been a member of the National Athletic Trainers' Association since 1971 and has received the NATA Service Award and was the first recipient of the Southeast Athletic Trainers' Association's High School Athletic Trainer of the Year.
Kendrick served as secretary to the Alabama Board of Athletic Training from 1994 until 2006. In 2006 and 2007, he served as the board's chairman.
Nationally, Kendrick served on the Ethics Committee of the NATA. He also served as an athletic trainer for the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta.
In addition to his bachelor's degree in education from Samford in 1970, Kendrick also earned a master's degree from the University of Alabama in education in 1972.
Kendrick is married to the former Donna Merrill, and the couple has two grown sons and four grandchildren.