Bengals’ Paul Sparling Named Outstanding NFL Athletic Trainer of the Year

Feb 27, 2020

NFL Physicians Society Honors Paul Sparling with Esteemed Fain-Cain Award

(Indianapolis, IN —  February 26, 2020) – The NFL Physicians Society (NFLPS) hosted an awards ceremony at its annual General Medical & Scientific Meeting during the NFL Scouting Combine where it honored Paul Sparling of the Cincinnati Bengals with the Fain-Cain Memorial Award for Outstanding NFL Athletic Trainer of the Year.

“Paul is a dedicated professional who has established himself as an advocate for all athletes,” said Dr. Marc Galloway, M.D., head team physician and NFLPS voting member for the Cincinnati Bengals. “He is a proven leader who is extremely well respected among our players, coaches, ownership, medical staff. His extensive experience has helped countless athletes; his knowledge and professionalism are unmatched.”

“Having worked with Paul over the years, I am delighted the NFLPS is honoring such an outstanding athletic trainer. He’s dedicated his life to working with the Bengals and being a role model for other athletic trainers,” said Dr. Leigh Ann Curl, President of the NFLPS.

Sparling has served as athletic trainer in the NFL for 40 years. He started as a Student Athletic Trainer Intern for the Bengals in 1978 before becoming an Assistant Athletic Trainer for the Bengals in 1981. Sparling became the Bengals’ Head Athletic Trainer in 2001, he also serves as the Bengals’ Director of Sports Medicine Administration in that role.

The Fain-Cain Award is named for Dr. Thomas E. Cain, M.D., and Dr. Robert H. Fain, M.D., both long-time team physicians for the former Houston Oilers. The award was established shortly after Dr. Cain’s death and Dr. Fain’s retirement. The award is given annually to an NFL athletic trainer who best reflects the virtues of a certified athletic trainer and displays the highest level of professionalism.

Last year’s winner was Jim Whalen of the New England Patriots. A full list of previous winners can be found here.