In the summer of 2011, Jim Shields said the Cards hockey team needed a trainer and asked Buddy if he’d be interested in the gig. After explaining that an RN is not a trainer and in KY (and most other states) they cannot call themselves a trainer, Jim said, “You’ll be fine. You’re just going to do first-aid and triage. You just need to show up for games in case something happens.” What happened is that Jim called Buddy on the night of the first practice of the 2011 season to ask if he wouldn’t mind coming to the rink and taking out a few stitches. He’s been a fixture at prackies ever since. And home games. And away games. Though he is referred to by the boys as the trainer sometimes, he’s just the medical guy.
Buddy was born in Houston, TX. He did not play hockey at the age of five, though he could spell it if pressed. He landed in Radcliff, KY in 1973 after the Army’s post-Vietnam reduction in force where he played little league football and baseball but no hockey. There was no hockey program at his high school but that was okay because he was a band nerd and spelling ‘hockey’ was still all he knew about the game. After high school he had a cup of coffee at a technical school and then a cup and a half at the University of Kentucky (and a pretty good time) before enlisting in the Air Force and becoming an electrician. In 1990, he went back to UK as a far better student and graduated with a BSN in 1995.
Buddy finally learned to skate and play hockey simultaneously in 2006 at an advanced age (which is none of your business) when he and his wife (whom he met and married during the ill-fated cup and a half) moved to Louisville. Some say he is the inspiration for the Never Ever adult hockey program at Iceland Sports Arena. One thing is certain, the C-League never saw him coming or they’d have set up a barrier or two. Thanks to Jim Shields, the coaches and players, Buddy happily dedicates his time to watching the Cards, looking for ways to prevent injuries, patching up boo boo’s, cheering, and occasionally offering playing tips to rookies who don’t realize he’s really a terrible hockey player.