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XFL Taps Kerry Gordon to Lead on Health and Safety

The veteran NFL athletic trainer will oversee player well-being for all eight teams in the rebooted football league set to kick off in 2023.

On Thursday, the XFL announced that Kerry Gordon has joined the league to serve as Vice President of Health and Safety. Gordon will oversee all health and safety policies, procedures, and protocols, focusing on delivering premium care and well-being for all XFL athletes and directing athletic training departments for all eight teams.

As a licensed athletic trainer, Gordon is a seasoned veteran bringing 21 years of experience including 15 seasons consulting in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, and Los Angeles Rams. Interestingly enough, Gordon began her career as a seasonal intern athletic trainer with the Los Angeles Xtreme, one of the original teams formed for the XFL’s inaugural season in 2001.

She describes the experience in the original XFL as a full-circle moment.

“It was really that experience that ignited my passion for wanting to work at the professional level specifically with this group of guys that had this chip on their shoulders and grit and wanted to prove something. I, too, wanted to prove something, and that really helped mold me and what became my future experiences,” Gordon said in a Zoom interview. 

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Gordon is a NATA-licensed athletic trainer, NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist, and NCTMB-licensed massage therapist. Gordon earned a Bachelor’s degree in sports injury management from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She also earned a master’s degree in athletic training from the University of South Carolina.

XFL Chairwoman and co-owner Dany Garcia noted that hiring Kerry was about finding the single best candidate. “One of the things we have in ownership is finding the absolute best talent. It’s so easy for us because we have no issues making our net as wide as possible. We look for the absolute best to fill our roles and Kerry is that,” she said.

One of Gordon’s first tasks will be spearheading several aspects of the league’s partnership with the NFL. The announcement came in February. As of now, details are scarce, but health and safety have been confirmed as key areas of emphasis. Both leagues will align to find superior solutions regarding physical and mental fitness; other areas of focus could potentially include international football development and scouting, officiating, the testing of new game rules, and new technology to enhance officiating.

Gordon is looking forward to working with the league again. “This relationship and collaboration with the NFL is going to be an intricate component essential to our success in creating the best health and safety to surround our players,” she said. “Why? Because their historical knowledge and what they’ve developed, it’s clear their intention to always progress the future of football in the way of protecting players, and utilizing the XFL to help support that will give us a kickstart.”

Outside of the NFL partnership reveal, the league has made a bevy of announcements in 2022 that include head coaching hirings, a new brand identity and logo, multiple hirings, a series of athlete showcases, and an XFL Combine tour.

Still, Garcia says the best is yet to come.

“We’ve had a great last couple of months. We’re going to [be] integrating Kerry into those [developments]. We have another full slate of announcements coming in the next two weeks, so the show is only going to continue. We’ve been ramping up weekly,” she said. 

For now, though ,the league is just happy to add someone to their team who’s not just an expert in her field, but an XFL vet.

“Kerry is a critical hire for our League, reinforcing our commitment to player health and safety, a key pillar of our football philosophy. She is a seasoned industry veteran whose expertise will be invaluable as gear up for our 2023 season,” added Russ Brandon, President of the XFL, in an official release.

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