Bud Carpenter’s long and distinguished career as the Buffalo Bills athletic trainer has spanned more than three decades.
Raised in Allegany, NY, Bud’s career as an athletic trainer started out along a different path. After attending St. Bonaventure and working with the athletic trainer, he went on to serve a four year stint in the U. S. Air Force as a Russian linguist. Returning home in 1975, he enrolled at SUNY Fredonia majoring in Elementary Education and History.
While at Fredonia, he was given an opportunity to integrate his course work and love of sports, and was hired as an assistant coach for the women’s volleyball team. After graduation, he became the assistant athletic trainer and director of intramurals, a program which he proudly developed into the largest per-capita intramural program in the state.
In the summer of 1981 when the Bills moved their training camp to the Fredonia campus, Bud became the trusted liaison between the college and the team. Because of his well-regarded reputation as the college’s athletic trainer, the Bills hired Bud to work with the team during training camps and at home games. In 1984 the NHL’s Boston Bruins came calling and hired Bud as part of their athletic training staff. That was the shortest stint in his career as just one year later the Bills head trainer Eddie Abramoski offered Bud the position of assistant athletic trainer. After Abramoski’s retirement in 1996, Bud was appointed Head Athletic Trainer, a position he has held for the past 20 years.
Throughout his years with the Bills, Bud has been part of five AFC Championship games, four-straight Super Bowls and a Pro Bowl in Hawaii. Players, past and present, and Bills officials will all attest that he is a trusted confidant whose training advice is held in the highest regard. Holding steadfast to the goal that he and his staff of four assistant athletic trainers, stay current with their training, Bud continues to integrate the latest medical advancements and tools at their disposal for administering care.
In the 2007 season opener against Denver, when Bills tight end Kevin Everett sustained a severe neck injury in a collision covering the game’s kickoff, the Bills’ team of doctors, along with Bud and athletic trainers, were widely credited for giving Everett the on-field and post-hit care that led to his chances for recovery. To their credit, Bud and his team have twice been honored as the National Football League Athletic Training Staff of the Year by the Pro Football Athletic Trainers Society. The first in 2007, following his pivotal role in administering care to Everett, and again in 2014.
Bud is committed to lobbying state legislators to require athletic trainers at the high school level. He is a member of the Section VI and Fredonia Sports halls of fame and the recipient of Rotary International’s, Paul Harris Award. He helped create, and is president of, the Ilio DiPaolo Scholarship Fund, and continues his commitment to Western New York as a volunteer with D.A.R.E., Kids Escaping Drugs and the Center for Handicapped Children.