PFATS.com Celebrates the Career of Longtime Arizona Cardinals Assistant Athletic Trainer Jim Shearer
Jim “The Machine” Shearer has retired from the NFL after being on the sidelines with the St. Louis and Arizona Cardinals for 40 years. At the time of his retirement Jim was the longest tenured athletic trainer in the National Football League.
During his career with the Cardinals he worked an estimated 797 games. Jim started his professional career with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1974. Prior to joining the Cardinals, Jim was a graduate of the University of Wyoming with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. After earning his degree, Shearer worked in Gillette, WY as the city’s assistant recreation director and head trainer at Gillette High School. Jim was hired as an assistant athletic trainer by former Cardinals head athletic trainer John Omohundro. After the 1987 season, the team made a decision to relocate to another city and Jim being the loyal employee that he is, decided to continue with the team. The team relocated to Phoenix, AZ and that is where Jim would spend the next 27 years as an employee of the Arizona Cardinals.
In 1993, Jim, along with head athletic trainer John Omohundo and assistant athletic trainer Jeff Herndon were named the National Football League’s athletic training staff of the year. The accomplishment was recognized at the annual Ed Block Courage Award. During his time with the Cardinals he truly performed all aspects of the athletic training profession. Jim was also well known for preparing the club for the annual NFL combine. He would obtain and collect any information regarding an athlete’s previous medical history. Doing that allowed Jim to get to know countless athletic trainer’s from the collegiate level.
During the 2008 season, the Cardinals capped off a great season with a trip to the 2009 Super Bowl. Being part and working the Super Bowl was one of the biggest, of many highlights throughout his career. All the hard work and loyalty that Jim showed while an employee of the Arizona Cardinals was recognized as he was named the inaugural NFC assistant athletic trainer award by PFATS in 2010. He received the award at the annual PFATs meeting in Indianapolis with all his peers within the NFL athletic training profession in attendance. During his career with the Cardinals, Jim was able to have the privilege to work with Pro Football Hall of Famers Roger Wehrli, Dan Dierdorf, Jackie Smith, and Emmitt Smith. Jim also was able to work with athletes such as Pat Tillman, Neal Lomax, Aeneas Williams, Jake Plummer, Kurt Warner, Adrian Wilson, and Larry Fitzgerald to name a few.
Jim “The Machine” Shearer will be missed by the countless number of former athletes, current athletes, and athletic trainers that he crossed paths with during his highly successful career as an athletic trainer.