My weekday job is a Marketing Asset Manager for the Coca-Cola United Bottling Company, a career I have enjoyed for almost 20 years. However, my weekend passion is being a football official for the Southeastern Conference (SEC). I’ve been an official at the collegiate level for 18 years, previously officiating for the Southland, Ohio Valley and Sunbelt Conferences. I’ve been fortunate to serve as an SEC official the last 8 seasons and I'm look forwarding to my upcoming 9th season in 2019.
On Saturday, October 13, 2018 I was on the sidelines of Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina working the Texas A&M and South Carolina game as the alternative official. I vividly remember there was 1:38 left in the 1st quarter when Texas A&M's QB rolled to the right, I thought I was in the clear until out of the corner of my eye I saw a South Carolina LB and the Texas A&M QB helicopter into the sidelines. The players "rolled over" five other people standing near me on the sidelines; however, I was the only one seriously injured.
I didn’t have immediate pain and swelling but I couldn’t walk because my right leg couldn’t support any weight. I was immediately attended to by the USC team physician Dr. Jeffery Guy, (a former Andrews Sports Medicine fellow in 2000-2001) and USC Head Athletic Trainer Clint Haggard.
I was taken to a medical tent on the sidelines where I was further evaluated, put into an inflatable cast and then transported to the stadium's training room for x-rays. After the x-rays were taken, it was determined the injury was a Tibial plateau ORIF. I spent the remainder of the game at Williams-Brice Stadium and following the game I was transported back to the officials' hotel with all of the game crew.
Reflecting back to that play, I remember trying to jump over the players when I saw them coming to avoid getting hit. Even though I did not avoid getting hit, I believe I did save my leg from a much worse injury. I was very impressed with the immediate care I received on the field.
Due to the extent of my injury, my wife had to fly into Columbia, SC that same night and drove me back home to Montgomery, Alabama the next day.
Working as an official, we have close relationships with the team physicians and team trainers. Almost immediately after the injury, I reached out to my former SEC Football crewmember and retired official, Jay Vines, who suggested I schedule an appointment with Dr. Lyle Cain.
On Monday, October 15, 2018 (two days after being injured), I came in for my first evaluation with Dr. Cain. We discussed pre and post-surgery strategies and the best route for me to take for a successful recovery. I came back for surgery at Andrews Sports Medicine the next day, and Dr. Cain installed a total of 9 screws and 1 plate in my right knee.
Although I played multiple sports growing up, including college baseball, I never suffered a serious injury. Getting injured later in life doing something I’ve done for years was shocking, but with the phenomenal care from Dr. Cain, I am on my comeback journey to being able to run up & down the field again. I believe my aggressive physical therapy regiment and a nutritionist-developed, supplement plan have both had a huge impact on the success and speed of my recovery.
Lastly, Dr. Cain is an extremely bright individual and he is great a what he does. He treats you like you are the only patient he has to see that day and most importantly he strives to make sure his patients recover and reach their personal goals.