NATCHITOCHES – Dr. Julian Bailes has been named the 2016 recipient of the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award presented by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
Bailes is the current and founding chairman of the Pop Warner Medical Advisory Committee, which is focused on prevention and proper identification and treatment of concussions, hydration awareness, proper nutrition guidelines, and general health and safety issues.
A world-renowned neurosurgeon, Bailes is also an advisor to the NFLPA, the NCAA’s Competitive Safeguards and Medical Safety Committee and the SEC.
In the recent movie “Concussion” starring Will Smith as Bailes’ colleague Dr. Bennet Omalu, award-winning actor Alec Baldwin portrayed Bailes in a film that brought sports concussion issues to a mainstream audience spurring discussions of the safety and future of American sports.
The Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award is presented annually by the LSWA’s 35-member Hall of Fame selection committee to an individual who has played a decisive role as a sports leader or administrator benefiting Louisiana and/or bringing credit to Louisiana on the national and international level.
Dixon Award winners are enshrined as Hall of Fame members and are featured in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Museum in Natchitoches.
The award is named in honor of Hall of Famer Dave Dixon, the driving force behind bringing the NFL to Louisiana with the creation of the New Orleans Saints franchise. Dixon, who passed away in 2010, is also considered the “father” of the Mercedes-Benz Louisiana Superdome, developing the concept for the innovative domed structure and pushing state officials for its construction in the late 1960s.
Bailes will be among the 11-man 2016 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Class to be spotlighted in the annual Induction Dinner and Ceremonies on Saturday evening, June 25, at the Natchitoches Events Center.
The 2016 Induction Class will be showcased in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Museum, operated by the Louisiana State Museum system in a partnership with the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. The striking $23 million, two-story, 27,500-square foot structure faces Cane River Lake in the National Historic Landmark District of Natchitoches and has garnered worldwide architectural acclaim and rave reviews for its contents since its grand opening during the 2013 Hall of Fame induction weekend.
A Natchitoches native who was an all-state linebacker at Natchitoches Academy and a walk-on football player at Northwestern State, Bailes transferred to enroll in the pre-med curriculum a LSU. An LSU Medical School graduate, Bailes has testified in front of Congress regarding safety aspects of sports, particularly football from the Pop Warner level up to the NFL, and has taken bold positions related to safety of competitors. He has been instrumental in implementing return-to-play protocols in all 50 states and internationally.
A 2011 inductee into the LSU Hall of Distinction, Bailes is chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery and co-director of the Northshore Neurological Institute in Chicago. Bailes is a founding member and director of the Brain Injury Research Institute, which focuses on the study of traumatic brain injuries and their prevention. His research has been instrumental in the understanding of the clinical evidence of Chronic, Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive, degenerative disease found in individuals who have been subjected to multiple concussions or sub-concussive blows.
Bailes is presently a medical advisor to the NFL Players Association Committee on head injuries, and the Competitive Safeguards and Medical Safety Committee within the NCAA. He is chairman of the Medical Advisory Board for Pop Warner football nationwide and is a director the NFL Players Association second opinion network. Bailes is also the neurological consultant for the NCAA, in general, the Southeastern Conference, Arena League Football and was team physician for 10 years for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Bailes is frequently consulted for comments by media such as Sports Illustrated, the New York Times, the Washington Post and other leading publications, and has made appearances on ESPN, NBC Sports, Good Morning America, CNN, CNN Sports, The Anderson Cooper Show, The CBS Morning Show, Outside the Lines, Today Show, NBC Nightly News, PBS, Dr. Oz Show, ABC Nightline, and Fox Sports Networks. He is known internationally for his opinions related to brain trauma from sports activities.