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Ravens Former Head Trainer Bill Tessendorf Wins Award of Excellence From Hall of Fame

Bill Tessendorf
Bill Tessendorf

Former Ravens head athletic trainer Bill Tessendorf will receive the 2024 Award of Excellence, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Wednesday.

Tessendorf becomes the third former Raven to receive this distinguished recognition. Former equipment manager Ed Carroll was part of the inaugural class of contributors honored with the Award of Excellence. In 2023, former Executive Vice President of Public and Community Relations Kevin Byrne also earned the award.

Beginning his NFL training career with the Cleveland Browns in 1973, Tessendorf moved with the franchise to Baltimore in 1996 and remained with the Ravens until his retirement following the 2010 season.

"Bill was a trainer when I played for the Browns, and the amount of care and attention he gave to me and the other players was second to none," Ravens Executive Vice President Ozzie Newsome stated. "When I retired and went into coaching and scouting, I could always depend on Bill when it came to medical information on players or their availability to be able to practice or play. I had a lot of confidence and trust in what he would tell me.

"Upon becoming the head of personnel, having had that history with Bill, there was a lot of comfort for me to know that any time I went down to that training room, the information I received from him was so credible. Bill was a tireless worker and had many different skills other than in the training room – he actually helped design this practice facility we're in. He had a lot of unique talents that made an impact on our organization, and I'm so proud that Bill is being recognized in Canton."

Tessendorf was often recognized for his outstanding work during his 38-year NFL career. In 1998 he won the National Athletic Trainers Association's Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award. In 2009 he won the NFL Physician Society's Fain Cain Memorial Award, given to the league's most outstanding trainer of the year.

"You've got to be a people person in this business," Tessendorf said when retiring in 2011. "I've gotten to work with some Hall of Famers and some soon-to-be Hall of Famers when they decide to retire. There's been a lot of guys who are now head coaches. They're all special people to me."

During his long tenure, Tessendorf was revered throughout the organization for his professionalism and personality.

"Congratulations to 'Bill T' for his well-deserved Hall of Fame recognition," Ravens chief medical officer Dr. Andrew Tucker added. "Bill was the consummate professional and a man of great integrity. He was dedicated, tireless, a selfless servant, and a skilled and knowledgeable athletic trainer whose contributions to the Ravens far exceeded his athletic training position. Bill is truly one of the 'GOATs' in our profession. Further, he has a Hall of Fame wife, Nan, who supported him all along the way. Congratulations to Bill, Nan and their daughter, Amy."

Tessendorf will be recognized by the Hall of Fame alongside the other 14 Award of Excellence recipients in Canton with an evening reception on June 26 and a luncheon on June 27. The event will be emceed by Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Fouts.

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