By Brooke Hill | Staff Writer
The Baylor Sports Network hosted Baylor graduate and former NFL player Dr. Mark Adickes as part of the Lunch with a Legend series on Aug. 17, at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.
Adickes is a Baylor University football All-American and a B Association Hall of Fame member.
“I chose Baylor over Rice and Texas Tech because Baylor had it all; great athletics and first class academics. The other two offered one or the other,” Adickes said. “Once I visited Baylor’s campus I was sold. The beauty and accessibility of everything on campus made my decision easy.”
During Adickes’ seven year NFL career, he played for the Kansas City Chiefs, followed by the Washington Redskins, winning the Super Bowl with the Redskins in 1992. After retiring from his football career, he went on to complete his medical training at Harvard Medical School.
“It started with me praying, ‘Okay, Lord what am I supposed to do with the rest of my life?’ I looked into a bunch of different franchises, thought maybe I could start my own business, I thought about physical therapy school, I thought about med school,” Adickes said. “I went to the pre-med counselor at George Mason University and said, ‘Look, I pretty much majored in football when I was at Baylor.’ I mean, I had a B average, but just barely.”
Regardless of his grades at Baylor, he went on to have a successful medical career and was the surgeon to fix fellow Baylor Bear’s Robert Griffin III’s knee when he needed surgery to repair his ACL in 2009, according to Sports Illustrated.
“I think that because I have had many of the same injuries and surgeries as my patients while I competed in the NFL it helps create a level of comfort and trust that makes my job easier,” Adickes said.
Although Adickes was fortunate enough to realize what his career goals were after having the opportunity to play his sport professionally, he encourages current student athletes to start thinking about their futures apart from sports.
“I would encourage them to take advantage of the opportunity provided by Baylor University to get a first class education,” Adickes said. “My issue was that I never really committed to what I wanted to study. Each athlete needs to spend time figuring out where their passion lies academically so they are motivated to learn and excel in the classroom.”
Adickes is currently an orthopedic surgeon and has recently joined the Baylor College of Medicine as chief of the division of sports medicine and associate professor of orthopedic surgery. On weekends during the fall, he also serves as a sports injury analyst for ESPN and DirecTV.
“My role is to analyze injuries to help fans understand what is going on with their favorite athletes and when they may return to play,” Adickes said.
The Lunch with a Legend series is currently in its third year, with a luncheon occurring bimonthly. John Morris is the host, and the honored guest engages in a conversation with Morris rather than giving a speech. A small committee meets to recommend former athletes that they think would be a good fit for the series, as well as making every effort to include all sports, according to director of the Baylor Sports Network, Doug Fertsch.
Five out of six luncheons a year are held at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in Waco and one luncheon takes place somewhere on the road. Baylor alums and friends within about a 60 mile radius are invited to attend, according to Fertsch.
“This is really geared towards the city of Waco and our Baylor community,” Fertsch said.
The Baylor Sports Network was thrilled that Adickes could join them and be a part of this series.
“Dr. Adickes has a great story,” Fertsch said. “He was a great player at Baylor, had gone on to become a really fine offensive lineman with the NFL, he’s been honored by the B Association as one of their legends. His story resonates for the Baylor family. He just represents what our great Baylor constituency does, they do the best with what they have.”