Per K.C. Johnson, the Chicago Bulls are on the precipice of finalizing a deal to bring Chip Schaefer back as their new director of sports performance to oversee the team's strength and training staff.
Longtime Bulls fans may recall that Schaefer served as head trainer for the entirety of the Jordan Dynasty in the 1990s. After leaving the team in 1998, he became the director of atheltic performance for the Los Angeles Lakers for twelve seasons, a stretch that added an additional five titles to his collection.
Following his departure from the Lakers in 2011, Schaefer jumped down to the college ranks to serve as Assistant Atheltics Director for Sports Performance at UC Santa Barbara before joining the Sacramento Kings as their Director of Athletic Performance. Schaefer also spent time as head trainer for the U.S. Men's ski team in the mid 1980s as well as head athletic trainer at Pete Newell's Big Man Camps in the late 1980s.
Schaefer is a Deerfield, IL native with a BA in physical education and sports medicine from the University of Utah and a master's in counseling from Loyola Marymount. He is certified as a strength and conditioning specialist by the National Athletic Trainer's Association (NATA) as well as performance enhancement, corrective exercise, and nutrition specialist by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).
Considering the Bulls have seen what was perhaps the worst stretch of injuries endured by any team in the 21st century thus far, this hiring should be viewed as an enormous boost. Schaefer brings with him decades of experience from various corners of the sports world and has already proven he can help this franchise reach great heights when put in charge of the rosters' health. That last part is perhaps most important, as Schaefer's previously established trust with the organization should theoretically allow him greater liberties with taking care of the players than what Jen Swanson was previously allotted.
To no one's surprise, the delight of the organization, and the chagrin of Bulls fans; Jeff Tanaka will remain head athletic trainer.