Innovation in
Safety Award

BECAUSE PLAYER SAFETY IS CRITICAL, WE HAVE PARTNERED WITH THE MAXWELL CLUB TO RECOGNIZE THE NFL OR NCAA EQUIPMENT MANAGER OR ATHLETIC TRAINER WHO HAS DONE THE MOST TO ADVANCE PLAYER SAFETY THROUGH INNOVATION.

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THE MAXWELL FOOTBALL CLUB WAS FOUNDED IN 1935 TO PROMOTE SAFETY IN FOOTBALL, AND IS THE OLDEST FOOTBALL CLUB IN AMERICA. EACH YEAR, THE CLUB PRESENTS AWARDS FOR OUTSTANDING ACCOMPLISHMENTS AT ALL LEVELS OF FOOTBALL, FROM HIGH SCHOOL TO THE PROFESSIONAL RANKS.

2018 WINNER

JOE SKIBA

EQUIPMENT MANAGER / NEW YORK GIANTS 

Joe Skiba, equipment manager at the New York Giants, has been named the winner of the VICIS Innovation in Safety Award from the Maxwell Football Club.

Joe is the current Equipment Director and member of the New York Giants organization since 1994. Joe has served on the NFL’s Health and Safety Committee for the past decade, contributing his expertise on equipment matters. Skiba won NFL Equipment Manager of the Year recognition in 2011 and regularly conducts equipment fitting and safety clinics for the New York Giants and USA Football. His longtime service as a member of the NFL’s Health and Safety Committee demonstrates the respect he has earned at football’s highest level. 

2017 WINNER

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Allen WRIGHT

EQUIPMENT MANAGER / KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 

Following his high school graduation, Allen accepted a position with his hometown Chiefs, spending his entire career innovating and protecting professional athletes. Over three decades, numerous front office changes, and countless roster additions, Allen’s attention to detail and focus on player safety and performance has been unwavering. At Kansas City, Allen has created a rigorous helmet-fitting protocol, optimizing the fit of every player’s helmet prior to every week’s game. His attention to proper fit predates recent studies demonstrating the importance of fit for helmet effectiveness and player safety. 

2016 WINNER

Dana Marquez

EQUIPMENT MANAGER / AUBURN UNIVERSITY

At Auburn, Dana oversees all aspects of equipment and apparel for the University’s 21 varsity sports. Over the past decade, Dana’s contributions and innovations have substantially improved athlete safety. After seeing a need to improve existing designs, Dana designed an entirely new football shoulder pad called CarbonTek, which was introduced to the market in 2013. In recognition of his thought leadership in player safety and head health, Dana was the first equipment manager to be named to the SEC’s Concussion Committee. In an effort to improve player safety at all levels of the game, Dana conducts helmet-fitting training sessions online and throughout his local community. He even played an instrumental role is returning Safety Zac Etheridge to the field in after what looked to be a career-ending injury. The year following his injury, Zac played 14 games and helped his team win a national championship.

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