Published on January 9, 2024 by Eric Holsomback  
Hunter Haley
Hunter Haley

After serving as Samford’s team physician while he was a fellow with Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center in Birmingham, Hunter Haley ’13, has been named the team physician for Ole Miss Athletics. Haley says his time as a kinesiology student in Samford’s School of Health Professions gave him the foundation to become the doctor he is today.

Haley’s journey into the world of sports medicine began with his first introductory kinesiology class as a freshman. These initial experiences exposed him to the practical applications of exercise science and fueled his aspiration to become a sports medicine physician.

“I’m deeply grateful for the unique educational experiences I received at Samford,” Haley said. “Dr. Petrella and Dr. Hensarling’s challenging courses in Research Methods and my senior seminar helped prepare me for the rigorous demands of medical school and graduate medical training.”

Haley says the Department of Kinesiology is an ideal path for aspiring medical professionals. He attributes his success to the program’s unique approach of bridging the gap between classroom theory and practical application. At Samford, he and his peers learned to translate scientific knowledge into real-world solutions. For instance, during their Exercise Testing and Prescription class, they implemented exercise and diet changes within the local community by being paired with adults in the area who wanted to improve their fitness and lifestyle habits. To do this, the students discussed diet and performance goals and met with the participants throughout the semester to track their progress.

During his time as Samford’s team physician, Haley said he had many memorable experiences. One was a thrilling football game against Tennessee Tech, resulting in a resounding 52-14 victory, and another unforgettable moment was the team’s trip to the University of Florida where the Bulldogs kept the Florida Gators on their toes until the very end.

As well as serving as the team physician for the University of Mississippi, Haley practices in a private orthopedic clinic in Oxford, Mississippi, offering musculoskeletal and sports medicine services to the North Mississippi region. He also serves as a team physician for Delta State University, providing clinical care and on-field coverage for athletic events.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.