Wayne Rudy, the original athletic trainer for the Kansas City Chiefs, has died. He was 88.
He had been living in Katy, Texas, after retiring in 1984. Rudy spent 24 years with the Chiefs, dating to the franchise’s founding in 1960 as the Dallas Texans.
Rudy had served as the trainer at SMU during 1947-59, including the time Lamar Hunt was a reserve end for the Mustangs Hunt hired Rudy as the Texans’ trainer, and he accompanied the team to Kansas City in 1963.
During Rudy’s tenure with the Chiefs, he was an integral part of three AFL championship teams and two teams that reached the Super Bowl, including the club that won Super Bowl IV.
“For individuals outside the football world, it is hard toquantify how central Wayne was to our team as a member of the support staff,” said Hall of Fame linebacker Willie Lanier. “I always had complete confidence in the quality of care that I received in order to perform day in, day out, week in, week out.”
Rudy played a key role in the organization of the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA), which was formed in 1950 when the first meeting of the organization took place in Kansas City. About 200 athletic trainers, including Rudy, gathered at that event to discuss the future of their profession.
Rudy twice served as national director of NATA, which now includes a worldwide membership of more than 30,000. He was inducted into the NATA Hall of Fame in 1974.
Rudy, a graduate of Bowling Green University, Rudy was enshrined in that school’s Hall of Fame in ’75. In addition, he was also a member of the inaugural class of inductees into the Missouri Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame in 1984.