Coach Bio

Rick Burkholder
Head Athletic Trainer

Biography

Known as one of the top athletic trainers in the National Football League, Rick Burkholder enters his 24th NFL season and his fourth with the Chiefs in 2016.

On Feb. 19, 2014, Burkholder received one of the highest honors in his profession as he was elected to a three-year term as President of the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS), which serves the players of the NFL, the member clubs and other members of the community, while ensuring the highest quality of health care provided to the NFL. During his term, he has focused on two specific initiatives – emphasizing the need for gender equality in the NFL’s athletic trainers, as well as the importance of athletic trainers at youth and high school levels.

On February 29, 2016, the Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society (PATS) announced that Burkholder would be one of three 2016 Pennsylvania Athletic Training Hall of Fame inductees. Burkholder will be honored at the 2016 PATS Annual Meeting & Clinical Symposium from June 2-4 in Grantville, PA.

Additionally, on June 24, 2016, Burkholder was given the 2016 National Athletic Trainers' Association's Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award.

Spending 17 years with Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid, who held the same position with the Philadelphia Eagles (1999-2012), Burkholder became well known for his expertise in his rehabilitation programs. He and his staff were recognized by their peers following the 2010 season, being named the NFL’s top training staff for the year.

Throughout his career, Burkholder has had numerous success stories rehabilitating players. In 2004, an aggressive rehabilitation program allowed wide receiver Terrell Owens to return from a surgically-repaired ankle in seven weeks to play in Super Bowl XXXIX with the Eagles. He also helped Duce Staley return to the field in 2001, who suffered a severe Lis Franc sprain in his foot. The process went so well that Burkholder has since been published and has spoken nationally on the Lis Franc injury and its rehabilitation process. In addition, Burkholder designed a rehab program for Steelers cornerback Rod Woodson in 1995 after he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the season opener, and Woodson returned just four and a half months after surgery to play in Super Bowl XXX.

Burkholder has created specialized rehab programs for several Chiefs over the last three years, including the recent Achilles' tendon injuries of both linebacker Derrick Johnson and former defensive end Mike DeVito in 2014. He also played a major role in safety Eric Berry's return to the field in 2015 after battling Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Burkholder has been very proactive in sports medicine, emphasizing programs that prevent and combat dehydration, asthma and lower back injuries. In Philadelphia, he was instrumental in injury prevention by modifying the team’s stretching program and instituting a torso-strengthening program known as "back school."

Before joining the Eagles training staff, he spent six seasons as an assistant athletic trainer with the Pittsburgh Steelers and three seasons as an assistant football athletic trainer at his alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh. A 1987 Pittsburgh graduate, Burkholder went on to earn his master’s degree in athletic training from the University of Arizona where he spent two seasons as a graduate assistant and another as an assistant athletic trainer.

Burkholder is a certified athletic trainer and a member of the National Athletic Trainers Association, the Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers Society, in addition to his membership in PFATS. While with Philadelphia, he served as the NFC head athletic trainer representative on the PFATS executive committee.

In 2013, he was a part of a football safety clinic geared specifically for moms at The University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex. He is actively involved in the Kansas City community having given educational presentations on concussions and heat and hydration as part of The University of Kansas Hospital Sports Medicine and Performance Center. Burkholder was instrumental in obtaining funding from the NFL Foundation and a matching grant from the Hunt Family Foundation with which the Chiefs and The University of Kansas Hospital will provide athletic training coverage to KC United, a local youth football league currently without any medical coverage.

Burkholder first gained NFL experience serving as a summer intern with the New England Patriots training staff in 1986. He was influenced by his father, Richard, a long-time athletic trainer at Carlisle High School, and his mother, Nancy, a registered nurse. In 2003, Burkholder and his father were named distinguished alumni of Carlisle High School and in 2013 Rick was honored with the Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers Society Distinguished Merit Award.

Education: Pittsburgh (B.S. 1987), Arizona (M.S. 1989). Born: Carlisle, Pa. Family: Wife - Kristine; Children - Quinn Taylor and Carly Ann.

Known as one of the top athletic trainers in the National Football League, Rick Burkholder enters his 24th NFL season and his fourth with the Chiefs in 2016.

On Feb. 19, 2014, Burkholder received one of the highest honors in his profession as he was elected to a three-year term as President of the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS), which serves the players of the NFL, the member clubs and other members of the community, while ensuring the highest quality of health care provided to the NFL. During his term, he has focused on two specific initiatives – emphasizing the need for gender equality in the NFL’s athletic trainers, as well as the importance of athletic trainers at youth and high school levels.

On February 29, 2016, the Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society (PATS) announced that Burkholder would be one of three 2016 Pennsylvania Athletic Training Hall of Fame inductees. Burkholder will be honored at the 2016 PATS Annual Meeting & Clinical Symposium from June 2-4 in Grantville, PA.

Additionally, on June 24, 2016, Burkholder was given the 2016 National Athletic Trainers' Association's Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award.

Spending 17 years with Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid, who held the same position with the Philadelphia Eagles (1999-2012), Burkholder became well known for his expertise in his rehabilitation programs. He and his staff were recognized by their peers following the 2010 season, being named the NFL’s top training staff for the year.

Throughout his career, Burkholder has had numerous success stories rehabilitating players. In 2004, an aggressive rehabilitation program allowed wide receiver Terrell Owens to return from a surgically-repaired ankle in seven weeks to play in Super Bowl XXXIX with the Eagles. He also helped Duce Staley return to the field in 2001, who suffered a severe Lis Franc sprain in his foot. The process went so well that Burkholder has since been published and has spoken nationally on the Lis Franc injury and its rehabilitation process. In addition, Burkholder designed a rehab program for Steelers cornerback Rod Woodson in 1995 after he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the season opener, and Woodson returned just four and a half months after surgery to play in Super Bowl XXX.

Burkholder has created specialized rehab programs for several Chiefs over the last three years, including the recent Achilles' tendon injuries of both linebacker Derrick Johnson and former defensive end Mike DeVito in 2014. He also played a major role in safety Eric Berry's return to the field in 2015 after battling Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Burkholder has been very proactive in sports medicine, emphasizing programs that prevent and combat dehydration, asthma and lower back injuries. In Philadelphia, he was instrumental in injury prevention by modifying the team’s stretching program and instituting a torso-strengthening program known as "back school."

Before joining the Eagles training staff, he spent six seasons as an assistant athletic trainer with the Pittsburgh Steelers and three seasons as an assistant football athletic trainer at his alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh. A 1987 Pittsburgh graduate, Burkholder went on to earn his master’s degree in athletic training from the University of Arizona where he spent two seasons as a graduate assistant and another as an assistant athletic trainer.

Burkholder is a certified athletic trainer and a member of the National Athletic Trainers Association, the Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers Society, in addition to his membership in PFATS. While with Philadelphia, he served as the NFC head athletic trainer representative on the PFATS executive committee.

In 2013, he was a part of a football safety clinic geared specifically for moms at The University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex. He is actively involved in the Kansas City community having given educational presentations on concussions and heat and hydration as part of The University of Kansas Hospital Sports Medicine and Performance Center. Burkholder was instrumental in obtaining funding from the NFL Foundation and a matching grant from the Hunt Family Foundation with which the Chiefs and The University of Kansas Hospital will provide athletic training coverage to KC United, a local youth football league currently without any medical coverage.

Burkholder first gained NFL experience serving as a summer intern with the New England Patriots training staff in 1986. He was influenced by his father, Richard, a long-time athletic trainer at Carlisle High School, and his mother, Nancy, a registered nurse. In 2003, Burkholder and his father were named distinguished alumni of Carlisle High School and in 2013 Rick was honored with the Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers Society Distinguished Merit Award.

Education: Pittsburgh (B.S. 1987), Arizona (M.S. 1989). Born: Carlisle, Pa. Family: Wife - Kristine; Children - Quinn Taylor and Carly Ann.