All Inductees
J Pat Evans

J Pat Evans

Western Heritage

Rodeo is, without a doubt one of the most dangerous sports in the world. So, it is hard to believe where the entire sport of rodeo would be without Dr. J. Pat Evans.

J. Pat, a native of Texas, was playing football on a scholarship for Whitworth College in Spokane, WA, when an injury to his knee ended his football career but started his medical career. He became a Physical Therapist and was then accepted to the University of Texas Southwest Medical School. He became a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery. J. Pat was one of the first surgeons to limit his practice to sports medicine. He was the Team Physician for the Dallas Cowboys from 1970 to 1989, and the Dallas Mavericks from 1980 to 1992.

It wasn’t until he found a rodeo cowboy waiting on the doorstep of his office in the mid 1970’s that J.Pat found his legacy. He had become disillusioned with the attitude of sports athletes, who seemed to care more about financial benefits of their sport than the true aspects of the sport itself. Most rodeo athletes had no guaranteed paycheck and little to no access to medical care. J. Pat began working, usually free of charge, to rodeo contestants throughout the country. In 1979, he presented his idea of a rodeo health care system to a fellow athletic trainer, Don Andrews. With the help of the Justin Boot Corporation, the Justin Sports Medicine Program was born.

The Justin Sports Medicine Program provides a network of emergency physicians, orthopedists, trauma specialist, athletic trainers, physical therapists, massage therapist, hospitals, and clinics around the country to provide comprehensive medical coverage to the professional rodeo contestant. The Justin Sports Medicine Program covers over 125 rodeos a year, handles over 6,000 injury cases, and has 3 custom designed Mobile Sports Medicine Centers that cover over 87,000 miles a year traveling from rodeo to rodeo.

J. Pat was recently asked if he ever thought his idea of medical care for rodeo cowboys would have ever gotten this big. He just simply smiled and replied, “It was my dream all along.”