Assistant Athletic Trainer
There is no traditional route to becoming an athletic trainer in the NFL. Sometimes just being patient and ready when opportunity knocks is the most important thing you can do. Such is true for Casey Carter, assistant athletic trainer for the Tennessee Titans. Carter was a summer athletic training intern with the Washington Redskins in 1994. Yet it wasn’t until 2009 that he landed his job in the NFL.
Casey’s education began at East Tennessee State University where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training. Carter then went on to Auburn University and received his Master’s degree in Biomechanics, before returning to East Tennessee State where he obtained his Doctorate in Physical Therapy.
As the Physical Therapist for the Tennessee Titans Carter’s primary role is the rehabilitation of players with injuries that will miss more than 1 week. Casey will direct and administer their care. Acting as the liaison between the Head Athletic Trainer and the Head Strength Coach, Carter discusses the modalities selected, exercise prescription and the overall participation level in the weight room and out on the practice field for the players. Some of his many secondary roles include but do not stop at protocol and treatment design, assisting in the selection of auxiliary staff members, and organization of the EMR documentation for the Titans.
Casey found his love for athletic training at a very young age while he was in the 8thgrade. Through the guidance and advice from the Head ATC at ETSU, Casey was given the 1970’s Cramer Manuel on Athletic Training, told to read it, and from there Carter knew what he wanted to be. He began taping ankles and making ice bags and hasn’t looked back since. Casey volunteered at the ETSU training room while in high school working preseason football camp and became a student trainer at his own high school. Once college began Carter had no doubt in his mind that athletic training was the profession for him.
Carter knows all too well how his career took shape from the advice he received from the Head Athletic Trainer at East Tennessee State and feels it’s equally important to give future students that same assistance. “Set and write down your goals; both short term and long term.” Casey explains “Goals become real once you write them down and not just dreams or thoughts in your head.” You must stay dedicated to making those goals become reality. “Be enthusiastic, relentless and persistent in accomplishing your goals.” Carter uses the quote from the late Jim Valvano “Never give up, don’t ever give up”, as an affirmation to live by for himself when chasing your goals. The door to the NFL didn’t open for Casey until he was 38 years old but his passion and love for athletic training never wavered. Carter started with a goal in mind, maintained his persistence and never gave up!
Carter loves to try new restaurants and revisit some of his favorites in his free time when he’s not running or playing tennis.