Ronald Edward O'Neil Inducted 2016 - Class of 1965
Already in his early high school years when his family moved to Point Place from West Virginia, Ron brought his childhood education, memories, and a "gift" from his grandmother. Ron recalled that the summers by the lake were beautiful and the winters were filled with excitement. Two neighborhood boys Jim Roach and Ron's future brother-in-law, Smitty Belcher, thought that Ron should learn to ice skate so they could teach the new boy the game "crack the whip." Needless to say the new boy was the last one in a line of 15 boys when they cracked it, and did Ron go flying across the ice.
Ron credits many of the teachers and coaches at Woodward for giving him "... a bigger awareness and exposure to life that I probably wouldn't have gotten if the family had remained living in West Virginia." Ron recognizes Mr. Geis as a great Civics teacher,". . . really funny and a great role model for high school students." Mrs. Estes is also singled out ". . . from the beginning Chemistry was hard for me. She took a special interest and tutored me. I finally got it and ended up with a B+." Ron
gives special recognition to his baseball coach Mr. Robie. ". . . he always told me keep working hard on all your skills as a catcher and hitter and you can play at the next level." Following Mr. Robie's advice, Ron played varsity baseball at Ball State University.
Ron has had an impressive career in sports medicine, not only at Ball State University, but at the professional level as well. After graduation from Ball State, Ron went to work as a trainer for Northwestern University gathering further experience at the next level. Continuing his professional training and career, Ron went to work in 1973 for the Philadelphia Eagles, and was an assistant athletic trainer when they competed in the 1980 Super Bowl. In 1984 Ron became the Head Athletic Trainer for the New England Patriots as they participated in three Super Bowls, 1985, 1996, and winning in 2001. It should be noted that in 1997, while as Head Athletic Trainer for the New England Patriots, his staff received the coveted NFL Athletic Training Staff of the Year award. Ron retired from the NFL in 2002 after a stunning career of 29 years.
Ron married Joyce A. O'Neil forty-two years ago and they have three grown children and four grandchildren. He says that his greatest therapy is maintaining their two acres of land and playing golf.
Ron currently serves as a Senior Consultant in Education, Research, and Development for Andover Healthcare, Inc. He's still working providing seminars and teaching sports medicine all throughout North America and parts of Europe.
In closing, Ron indicated, "To be recognized by my high school is the greatest award I have ever received."