Dr. Bill Holcomb, the founding director of the professional master’s program in athletic training at Mercer University, has been named the winner of the United States Sports Academy’s 2018 Dr. Ernst Jokl Sports Medicine Award.

Holcomb is a professor at Mercer University in Macon, Ga., and is an Academy alumnus, having earned a Master of Sports Science degree in sports medicine from the institution in 1988. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Berry College and a Ph.D. in exercise physiology from Auburn University.

Holcomb has been a Certified Athletic Trainer and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist for more than 25 years. He is recognized as a fellow in the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). 

He was awarded the NSCA’s 2017 Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist of the Year award, given to an athletic trainer whose work and contributions have significantly impacted the field of sports medicine or rehabilitation for athletes.

The Dr. Ernst Jokl Sports Medicine Award, named in honor of the former Olympic athlete, international sports medicine scholar, and director of the University of Kentucky Rehabilitation Center, is given annually to an individual for his or her contributions to the growth and development of sport medicine through practice and/or scholarly activity.  The individual should exhibit a mastery of some aspect of sports medicine through practice or research, be well known in the sports medicine field and have an abiding belief in and practice of ethical behavior in pursuit of knowledge.

At Mercer, Holcomb’s primary teaching areas are in the assessment and rehabilitation of athletic injuries. He has received several teaching awards including being named the top university teacher at UNLV in 2010. 

Holcomb’s primary research agenda has focused on determining more effective methods for the delivery of therapeutic modalities such as neuromuscular electrical stimulation and therapeutic ultrasound. He has written more than 60 scholarly publications and has presented his work widely over the last 25 years.

Holcomb has been active in service to the NATA and NSCA, and served as the liaison between the two organizations from 1997-2006.  He served one term each on the NSCA’s Certification Commission and Board of Directors.  He was awarded the NATA’s Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award in 2015.

The Dr. Ernst Jokl Sports Medicine Award is part of the Academy’s Awards of Sport, which each year honor a wide range of accomplishments in sport and serve as “A Tribute to the Artist and the Athlete,” in conjunction with the Academy’s American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA). The awards recognize these men and women through the Sport Artist of the Year, Honorary Doctorates, Medallion Series, Distinguished Service Awards, Outstanding Athletes, and Alumni of the Year awards.