(Indianapolis, IN — March 3, 2022) – The NFL Physicians Society (NFLPS) applauds James E. Muntz , M.D. of the Houston Texans for being awarded the prestigious Jerry “Hawk” Rhea Award. Dr. Muntz was recognized as an outstanding NFL team physician by the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS) at the NFLPS Annual Scientific Meeting and Symposium during the NFL Scouting Combine. The award is given annually by PFATS to the NFL team physician who has made the greatest contributions to both the NFL and the profession of athletic training.
“Dr. James Muntz embodies everything that is important to be an award-winning team physician. He is caring, loving, sympathetic, servant minded, accessible, funny and knowledgeable. What separates Jim for other people is his ability to connect with his patients and make them feel as though they are his only patient. Jim has always been a mainstay in the athletic training room and over the last 30-plus years has been a tremendous friend and supporter for the Houston Texans Athletic Training staff and all athletic trainers across the country,” said Geoff Kaplan, Director of Sports Performance Planning and Medical Administration for the Houston Texans.
“The Jerry “Hawk” Rhea Award, given to the NFL club physician of the year, is one of PFATS most honorable, coveted and prestigious awards we give out each year. NFL club physicians play such a critical role in our medical care for our athletes. To be able to highlight our team physicians yearly is just a small token of the dedication and hard work that we as athletic trainers get to be a part of. I couldn’t be more excited to honor Dr. James Muntz with this award as he exemplifies everything this award is about,“ said Reggie Scott, Vice President of Sports Medicine and Performance for the Los Angeles Rams and President of the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS).
Muntz specializes in Internal Medicine and has 30-plus years of experience working with athletes. He is currently the head team internal medicine physician for the Houston Texans, in addition to serving as a team physician for the Houston Astros and the Houston Rockets.
Involved in various sponsored research, Muntz has presented his findings on venous thrombosis at more than 600 conferences and has been interviewed by the television networks ABC, NBC, ESPN and CNN in regards to his sports affiliations.
He received his undergraduate degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. He attended medical school at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.
The Jerry “Hawk” Rhea Award for Outstanding NFL Team Physician is presented annually by PFATS to a member of the NFLPS. First awarded in 1998, it is named for Jerry Rhea who was the Head Athletic Trainer for the Atlanta Falcons from 1969 until 1994 and worked as Assistant to the President of the Falcons from 1994 to 2001. Jerry Rhea was the first winner, in 1998, of the Fain-Cain Memorial Award for outstanding NFL Athletic Trainer of the year, awarded annually by the NFL team physicians.
The winner of the last Jerry “Hawk” Rhea Award was Dr. Robert A. Heyer of the Carolina Panthers. A full list of previous winners can be found here.