Uhl receives AASPT’s Hall of Fame/Lifetime Achievement Award

By Ryan Clark
CHS Communications Director

Last month, the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy Executive Committee, as well as the Hall of Fame Committee, honored Tim Uhl, PhD, PT, ATC, FNATA, with the Turner A. Blackburn Hall of Fame/Lifetime Achievement Award. 

The award is one of the highest and most prestigious of the Academy, dedicated to honoring members who have “made a lasting contribution to the specialty of sports physical therapy over their career,” the website says.

Created in 2005, it seeks to honor those members of the Academy who have spent a professional lifetime contributing to and serving the Academy and sports physical therapy. 

“The award is so special, for many reasons,” Uhl said. “I am very moved, very happy and very excited for this honor. It always fees nice to be appreciated by your peers.”

Uhl has been practicing physical therapy and athletic training since 1985 in various sport medicine settings. He received his bachelor’s degree in health science that year from the University of Kentucky in physical therapy. After three years of clinical practice at the Lexington Sports Medicine Center he went on to receive his master’s degree in Kinesiology from the University of Michigan in 1992.

At Michigan he worked with the athletic programs and at MedSport, their sports medicine outpatient center. He served both on the staff and as the director of outpatient physical therapy at the Human Performance and Rehabilitation Centers in Columbus, Ga. Turner A. Blackburn hired Uhl out of Michigan and was his boss for two and half years in Columbus where they worked side-by-side.  

Uhl completed his doctorate in sports medicine from the University of Virginia in 1998 where he studied shoulder proprioception and is presently a Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Kentucky. Uhl is an active member of the APTA, NATA, American Society of Shoulder and Elbow Therapist (ASSET) and American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES), and American Baseball Biomechanics Society (ABBS).

The honor was especially meaningful for Uhl, who noted that the man for whom the award is named — Turner A. Blackburn, PT — was a lifelong mentor to him, as well as best man in his wedding.

“I am elated by the announcement that Tim was awarded, and will be inducted into, the ‘Turner Blackburn Jr. Hall of Fame’ for the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy,” Blackburn said via email. “I am even more excited for Tim’s membership in this special group because of our friendship of many years.”

Uhl noted one other reason his inclusion is special: Terry Malone, PT, EdD, ATC, FAPTA, and a professor in physical therapy and rehabilitation studies, nominated Uhl for the award — and Malone won it himself in 2006.

“I have had the great pleasure of working with and appreciating the immense contributions of Tim for greater than 25 years,” Malone said. “He is a talented clinician, researcher and educator.”

The award ceremony took place Feb. 24 at the American Physical Therapy Association’s Combined Sections Meeting in San Diego.

“After all your hard work, you don’t always get acknowledgment,” Uhl said. “But that’s fine — we do the work because we love it, because we want to help people. Still, I know and respect everyone who has won this award — it’s a Who’s Who of sports physical therapy. To be added to the list is just very, very special.”

“I think I speak for all of us in the College of Health Sciences when I say how proud we are to have a second professor receive this Hall of Fame Award,” said Scott Lephart, PhD and Dean of the College of Health Sciences. “Not only does it speak to the amazing talents of Dr. Uhl, but it also signifies the quality of teaching and research in the department. Once again, congratulations to Dr. Uhl on a truly Hall of Fame career — with more to come.”