Jim “Bone” (short for Hambone) Hammond graduated from Sweetwater High School in 1963 where he was voted the student with the “Best Personality.” As a senior, he was also honored as the “Best Student Trainer,” a national award sponsored by Cramer Chemical, a corporate athletic training provider located in Gardner, Kansas. Even as a young man, Jim knew he was destined to be an athletic trainer.
Following high school, Jim attended Southwestern College from 1963 to 1965 and served as a student trainer for the athletic program under the supervision of SWC’s Hall of Famer, Athletic Director Tom Parker. It was a great beginning for an amazing career that has spanned forty-seven years.
Jim transferred to Sand Diego State University in 1966 to work with his mentor and lifelong friend, Bob Moore, who is renowned for the development of Cryo-Therapy in the treatment of student athletes. Last year, Jim’s efforts during that time were reorganized when he along with Don Coryell’s 1966 Football Team were inducted into the SDSU Hall Of Fame. In fact Jim’s respect and history with Coryell is reflected in the priceless antidotes he tells and in his affectionate impersonation of “Coach’s” no nonsense approach.
After graduating from college, Jim served the San Diego Chargers from 1969 to 1982 as an Assistant Athletic Trainer. He was honored to work with legendary coaches and athlete: Don Coryell, John Madden, John Hadle, Ernie Zampazie as well as NFL Hall of Fame athletes Dan Fouts and John Jefferson. During his Chargers’ tenure, “the golden years,” the Bolts won the AFC Championship and Jim traveled with the team and worked the AFC/NFC Pro Bowl in Hawaii, one of Jim’s most treasured lifetime memories.
From 1982 to 1986, he left the NFL and went to the new USFL league with Coach George Allen and the Chicago Blitz and then with the Arizona Wranglers. He moved on to the LA Express and worked with coach Jon Hadl and quarterback Steve Young. The last team Jim was with before the USFL folded losing its legal suit against the NFL was Donald Trump’s New Jersey Generals.
In 1986, Jim was hired by Southwestern College to assist Hall of Fame trainer R.C. Delgado. When Delgado retired that year, he became the Head Athletic Trainer for the College. The rest as they say is history! Throughout his illustrious career, he has been known for his unique humor, fantastic stories and his infamous bedside manner. From the NFL to SWC, his biggest change was working with female athletes and the dancers in Mary Jo Horvath’s annual productions. However, as always, Jim adjusted! In fact he has survived six different deans with six different philosophies and worked with numerous assistant trainers. More importantly, he has served thousands of “Apache” and “Jaguar” student athletes. His biggest concerns and greatest efforts have always focused on taking care of and rehabilitating the athletes under his care, encouraging them, sometimes loudly, to do what they are supposed to do in order to be healthy and to excel.
Jim’s best memories during his athletic training career include working with Bob Moore as a student trainer and working the 1969 Charger Training Camp. He is also appreciative of the talents and hard work of Dennis Petrucci, SWC’s Assistant Trainer as they have become a very efficient and productive team for the sixteen teams they serve.
Jim Hammond, recognizing the outstanding care you have given the College’s student athletes over the past 24 years and your commitment to excellence, it is a special honor to induct you into the 2009-2010 Southwestern College Athletic Hall of Fame.