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Jerome Reid (B.S. '06, M.S. '08)


The moment Jerome Reid (B.S.’06, M.S.’08), senior athletic trainer for the Philadelphia Eagles, ran out of the tunnel into the stadium in Glendale, Arizona this past February at Super Bowl LVII, it hit him that his team had reached the pinnacle, a glory coveted throughout the NFL.

“I saw my wife, Nicole, and our kids in the stands. It was a happy, joyous moment,” said Reid, a two-time graduate of VCU with a bachelor’s degree in health, physical education and exercise science and a master’s degree in health and movement sciences from the College of Humanities and Sciences’ Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences.

A native of Petersburg, Reid dislocated his shoulder playing football and throwing the discus with the track team at Petersburg High School. After two surgeries, he had to come to terms with the fact that a future playing football wasn’t going to materialize.

Albeit a difficult time for him, it introduced him to an entirely different endeavor — physical therapy. During his rehabilitation, Reid had the chance to shadow his physical therapist, and he was intrigued enough to envision a career in the field. At VCU, though, he discovered that programs for physical therapy nationwide were transitioning to require doctoral degrees. So once again, Reid pivoted, this time to athletic training.

“I knew I wanted to be an athletic trainer after my first Intro to Athletic Training course,” he said, adding he met his wife, also a VCU alum, at the university.

During his junior year, Reid started his clinical rotation with preceptor Chris Jones in the football program at University of Richmond. He followed that semester by working with UR baseball as well as women’s basketball.

A year before earning his undergraduate degree in 2006, Reid applied for an NFL scholarship and was selected by the Tennessee Titans for its 2005 Minority Scholarship for Athletic Training. Through his preseason internship, he “fell in love with the league,” he said.

During graduate school, Reid worked at George Wythe High School as its athletic trainer through a partnership with VCU, and he completed three more internships with the Titans.

Before earning his master’s in 2008, Reid sat down one day and looked up the phone number for the head athletic trainer of each NFL team.

“I called and talked to whomever answered the phone,” he said. “I asked them about internships.”

His diligence paid off . Two teams — the Miami Dolphins and the Atlanta Falcons — offered him internships.

Reid chose the Dolphins, serving as the team’s athletic trainer intern during the 2008-09 season. That year was an eye-opening welcome to the NFL.

Jerome Reid stands on the field at Super Bowl 57

“You don’t know what it takes — the time and labor commitment — until you spend a season in the NFL,” Reid said.

He was responsible for setting up the practice fields and setting up for games, as well as packing trunks and rehab equipment. Most days he would get to work at 5 a.m. and leave around 9 p.m.

In 2014, the Titans brought in Todd Toriscelli as the new head athletic trainer and hired Reid as an assistant athletic trainer.

“Todd took me under his wing to teach me even more as to what it takes to be a leader in the field,” said Reid, who was selected as the Joe Warden Professional Athletic Trainer of the Year by the Tennessee Athletic Trainers’ Society in 2017. “I wanted to be master of everything. He got me to narrow down my focus and focus on what it takes to get the players better.”

Reid stayed with the Titans until 2018, when he was hired by the Philadelphia Eagles as head athletic trainer. In 2020, his title transitioned to senior athletic trainer.

Reid’s primary role, going into his sixth season with Philadelphia, is to work with players who are injured or need rehab. He also is heavily involved with NFL Scouting Combine and non-combine evaluations, at which college athletes are assessed on medical and physical criteria.

Reid’s work days are long. Typically he gets to work between 6 and 7 a.m. When there’s a night game, he might not leave until 6 a.m.

“If we travel, I get back at 3 a.m. and then come back to work at 6 a.m.,” he said.

Despite the relentless hours and the strenuous work, he is still excited about going into work each day.

“You have the opportunity to have an impact on so many people’s lives,” Reid said. “I never came into the profession for the fame or to say I am a professional football trainer. I did it with the goal to help others.” 

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