The Unsung Hero: Tennessee’s Athletic Trainer Chad Newman

He’s a former national Trainer of the Year and he loves his job; he’s Chad Newman. Tennessee’s athletic trainer loves to be with his family at UT.
He’s a former national Trainer of the Year and he loves his job; he’s Chad Newman. Tennessee’s athletic trainer loves to be with his family at UT.
Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 7:42 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - He’s a former national Trainer of the Year and he loves his job; he’s Chad Newman. Tennessee’s athletic trainer loves to be with his family at UT.

“For me, everybody says ‘oh, you love the sport,’ but I really love the kids,” Newman said. “I mean, that’s what makes it happen. I mean, you change kids every year to some extent, or they stay the same. But you know, that’s that’s kind of what makes it fun.”

Tennessee fans will often hear announcers commending the trainer, who’s been doing his work for almost three decades. It’s a process that often goes unnoticed but is vital to the team’s success.

“I try to tailor everything around basketball,” he said. “I mean, you know, if a guy has to come back and shoot the ball, I don’t need someone to worry about this. I need to worry about that. It’s it’s kind of how you have to do it. I mean, we all have a blueprint that we go by. But the blueprint has to be adjustable because everybody’s different. And that’s the challenge and the fun of it all for me.”

When it comes to Tennessee’s student athletes, Newman is their trainer, friend and, at times, a confidant who gets no greater satisfaction than watching the kids work through an issue.

“You got to be tough on them sometimes and say “look, you know, you’re gonna have to fight through a little bit,’” Newman said. “Sometimes you just have to give guys a hug. Sometimes you just laugh at them.”

Newman himself said he’s a bit of a class clown, keeping it light in the training room.

“I’m pretty light. I’m kind of a big joker in the train room and come across that way,” he said. “People are like ‘oh, you don’t ever smile on the bench.’ I’m like ‘yeah, but I don’t need a smile on the bench.’ We keep the light in the back, and that’s what helps these guys. I mean, they need to have a place they can go and have a good time.”

Newman was named Athletic Trainer of the Year 14 years ago when he and Director of Sports Medicine Jason McVeigh helped revive former Vol Emanuel Negedu after a sudden cardiac arrest. Fast forward to a recent episode with Buffalo’s Damar Hamlin, a situation that hit home for Newman.

“We’re lifesavers in every way, and Danny, who was the first guy on the field and friend of mine, was out there and they did the right thing,” Newman said. “Their sports medicine people never gave up and kept working hard. And you know, that’s the thing that athletic trainers want to do. I mean, we’re not here for glory. We’re not here for publicity. We want to be the first ones there.”

Newman, spending his time at UT to help athletes and change lives.