UH Samaritan Athlete of the Year Award Renamed

The University Hospitals Samaritan Medical Center Sports Med Athlete of the Year Award, now in its second year, has been renamed to honor the late William “Doc” M. Emery, M.D., FACS.

Now known as the William M. Emery, M.D., Athlete of the Year Awards, the program recognizes six overall athletes for their contribution to their sport, their dedication to their team, their participation as a leader, and academic performance.

“I can’t think of anyone who invested more time in our local athletes and athletic programs than Doc Emery,” said Jerry Seiter, Samaritan Hospital Foundation’s Director of Development. “We are so thankful his widow Karen Emery is continuing her husband’s legacy by supporting our community’s remarkable athletes through scholarships.”  

Doc Emery volunteered as team physician for Ashland High School for 16 years, earning recognition as OHSAA’s Outstanding Team Physician in 1978. He broadened the scope of this voluntary service by developing an athletic training program.

“The most unique thing Doc Emery did for Ashland was to push our school board to implement an athletic training program,” explained Ev DeVaul who served as Ashland’s athletic director from 1971-1998. “We were the first school in the state of Ohio to have such a program. Doc Emery also coordinated a yearly sports physical night for our athletes, recruiting his colleagues to volunteer their time because the health and safety of our athletes was that important to him.”

In addition to his volunteer work with the high school, Doc Emery spent 14 years as the volunteer team physician at Ashland College where he also established the school’s sports medicine major.  The university honored his volunteerism with an award in 1996. Doc Emery was active in youth and pony league baseball, the YMCA Swim Team Parent’s Association, and the Community Stadium Improvement Committee.

A third generation physician, Doc Emery owned a private general surgery practice and also served as Ashland County coroner for over 23 years. Between Doc Emery, his father, and grandfather, the three men practiced medicine in Ashland County for 113 years.

A total of $5,000 in scholarships will be awarded to the recipients of the William M. Emery Athletes of the Year. One male and one female athlete will be named overall winners; we also  recognize runner up and honorable mention winners.

To qualify for an award, athletes must attend a school affiliated with UH Samaritan’s athletic training program - Ashland, Black River, Hillsdale, Loudonville, Mapleton or New London. Working with each of the district’s athletic directors, top athletes were chosen in the Fall, Winter and Spring. The overall winners will be announced at an event at UH Samaritan on Main scheduled for July 19th at 6 p.m.    

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