The USFL is going all-in on its commitment by providing the best care possible for the athletes playing under its banner. The league announced on Wednesday, Dec 14th, that it was bringing Dr. Jim Ellis on as the Chief Medical Officer, a big hire for the league and player safety. He will work to form new medical partnerships for the league while working closely with team coaches, general managers, and athletic training staff, as well as with already established expert medical advisors and partners across the league.
“This is a touchdown hire for the USFL and our players,” said Brian Woods, President of Football Operations. “One of the USFL’s most important success stories during our inaugural season was the comprehensive medical care our players received. Dr. Ellis becoming the USFL’s first-ever Chief Medical Officer will help us expand and surpass our already high standards for player health and safety as we head into Season 2.”
Dr. Ellis, who currently holds the office of Emergency Preparedness Consultant with the NFL, will continue his duties with the NFL while he takes on his new USFL role. Dr. Ellis coordinates team medical care at NFL events, including the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, and the International Series Games in Germany, London, and Mexico City.
He also has experience as the Medical Director of Atlanta Motor Speedway and the LPGA Chick-fil-A tournament in Atlanta. During the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, he was the Olympic Stadium Venue Medical Officer and Co-Chairman of the Olympic Medical Support Group. In 1999, he helped facilitate player medical care for the FIFA Women’s World Cup that was hosted across the United States.
Dr. Ellis was a senior consultant with Medical Sports Group that coordinated team medical care for the NFL at the Super Bowl for more than 25 years. He worked 13 seasons as the emergency physician/associate team physician for the Atlanta Falcons and was a member of the NFL Team Physicians Society, while also serving as the Chief Medical Advisor to Augusta National Golf Club for the 2020 and 2021 Masters Tournaments.
“Dr. Ellis’ extensive experience caring for athletes from a wide array of sports and his academic background emphasizes the USFL’s top priority, the health and safety of our players. It makes him the perfect choice for this critical position,” said Daryl Johnston, Executive Vice President of Football Operations. “The USFL is focused on building a player-centric football league and I’m honored to welcome Dr. Ellis to the USFL Family. It’s another exciting addition to our league as we prepare for our second season.”
The vast experience that Dr. Jim Ellis brings is another step forward for the league. Taking care of the players was a pressing point for the USFL in season one; it is good to see them double down on that commitment for Season 2, which kicks off on April 15th, 2023!