Mark O’Neal, Director of Medical Operations for the Chicago Cubs, will receive an award from the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation at the University of Arkansas.
O’Neal has represented athletic training in baseball at the collegiate, Olympic and professional levels. O’Neal, the current president of the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society also chairs Major League Baseball’s Medical Advisory Board. He has guest lectured at the U of A and sports medicine organizations nationally and internationally.
Mark joined the Chicago Cubs in 2004 as Head Athletic Trainer and was promoted to his present role as Director of Medical Operations in October of 2012. Having spent his previous 15 seasons in the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization, Mark joined the Cardinals major league staff in 1998 as the medical and rehabilitation coordinator and was promoted to assistant athletic trainer in 2003.
En route to the major leagues, Mark made stops in the Cardinals’ farm system at Savannah (A), Arkansas (AA) and Louisville (AAA). He is a Certified Member of NATA, a licensed athletic trainer in the states of Illinois, Arizona and Missouri, a member of the Missouri Board of Healing Arts and a member of the NSCA.
In 2008, Mark joined Cubs’ Assistant Athletic Trainer Ed Halbur in being named the 2008 Major League Athletic Training Staff of the Year, and in 2007 Mark was elected Secretary of the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainer’s Society’s Executive Board. He was a keynote speaker on the Kinetic Chain Assessment at the 2003 NATA National Convention and a speaker at the Annual Medical and Legal Controversies in Sports Conference at Northwestern University.
In December of 2013, Mark was unanimously elected by its membership to be president of PBATS. In his first year in that position Mark reinvigorated tobacco education in baseball and established ProTep, the Professional Tobacco Education Program. In addition, Mark solidified the ATC program, a program designed to involve young people with disabilities in mainstream baseball programs. Mark also works with MLB and USA Baseball on instructions and injury prevention programs for young people.
O’Neal’s impact on the game of baseball, the athletic training profession and workforce inclusion has been felt on a national level.