May 22, 2012
Fred Mueller, Ph.D., director of the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research (NCCSIR) in Chapel Hill for the past 30 years, has been chosen as the recipient of the 2012 Award of Merit from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
Mueller, a coach and professor at the University of North Carolina (UNC) since 1966, will receive the prestigious award July 9 at the NFHS Summer Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.
As director of the NCCSIR since 1982, Mueller has become the country’s leading authority on catastrophic injury research. Mueller has worked closely with the NFHS, NCAA and other national sports organizations in studying injuries and helping to minimize risk for student-athletes.
Mueller collects data from the various sports organizations throughout the year and produces the annual Catastrophic Injury Report, which is used in an effort to prevent serious injuries at the high school level.
“Dr. Mueller’s work on behalf of student-athletes in collecting and studying data on catastrophic injuries has proved valuable to the NFHS and the millions of athletes who have participated in high school sports,” said NFHS Executive Director Bob Gardner. “We are pleased to be able to recognize Dr. Mueller’s invaluable service through the presentation of our Award of Merit.”
Mueller began his association with the University of North Carolina 56 years ago when he enrolled as a student. After graduating in 1961 and then serving two years as a high school coach in Florida and two years as a professor at Montclair State College in New Jersey, Mueller returned to the Chapel Hill campus for good in 1966.
Mueller has served as freshman football coach (1966-67), physical education instructor (1968-70), head lacrosse coach (1968-71), assistant professor (1970-74), associate professor (1974-80) and professor (1980-present). From 1995 to 2005, Mueller was chairman of the Department of Physical Education, Exercise and Sport Science at UNC.
Mueller has been a member (and chair the past two years) of the Medical and Safety Advisory Committee for USA Baseball since 1989. He also has served on the Medical and Safety Committees for US Lacrosse and the North Carolina High School Athletic Association. Mueller has been chairman of the American Football Coaches Association Committee on Football Injuries since 1980 and research director for the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment since 2006.
The NFHS has previously honored Mueller on two other occasions – in 1984 with the NFHS Service Award and in 2002 with the NFHS Citation. Other awards include the Dr. Ernst Jokl Sports Medicine Award from the U.S. Sports Academy in 1997, the Citation Award from the American College of Sports Medicine in 2003 and the Chairman’s Special Citation for service to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in 1978. Mueller is also a two-time recipient (1980, 1982) of the Cramer Award for Service to Athletic Training presented by Cramer Products, Inc. Later this year, he will receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award from UNC.
Mueller has received many research grants to study injuries, including grants from the American Football Coaches Association, NCAA, USA Baseball, Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association and Major League Baseball.
In addition to receiving his bachelor’s degree from UNC in 1961, Mueller also earned his master’s in physical education (1964) and his doctorate in education (1970) from North Carolina.
He has previously been honored by the NCHSAA.
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