Bobcat lands NFL clinical opportunity with Carolina Panthers

January 10, 2022

Kate Duffy running to practice.

Sports played a key role in most of Kate Duffy’s childhood.

Through these experiences, Duffy ’22, DPT ’25, quickly determined that she wanted to combine her passion for athletics with a strong desire to helping others.

“I am most passionate about helping those around me,” Duffy said.

Realizing this helped her find her way to the School of Health Sciences at Quinnipiac.

“In my undergraduate career thus far, I've experienced an amazing feeling of reward seeing my athletes come back from injuries and thrive on the field,” she said. “Their appreciation and success make all the long days and tough moments well worth it.”

Last January, Professor Megan Lewis reached out to Duffy about a unique clinical opportunity. Duffy met with a few other Quinnipiac professors where she learned that the Carolina Panthers was looking specifically for a Quinnipiac student for the entire fall semester.

Duffy was their top choice.

“To say I was shocked would be an understatement,” Duffy said.

Duffy served as a student seasonal intern for the Panthers throughout the fall semester. Her role was the same as a full-time athletic trainer would be for any professional sports team.

“As great as the past six months were, they were easily the hardest six months of my life. Training camp, in particular, was a tough transition for me, adjusting to being more than 500 miles away from home, working 14-15 hour days, walking 12-15 miles a day, it was a lot. I told myself as I worked really hard and stayed true to myself, all I could do is focus on getting 1% better every day,” Duffy said.

The Panthers share a similar outlook on their goals, working with their “brand” in mind.

“The Panthers’ brand is a motto the team lives by and works toward every single day. Each player, coach, staff member strives to be ‘the toughest, hardest working, most competitive team in the NFL,’” Duffy said.

Along with her internship experience, Duffy was still juggling the demands of being a full-time student.

“It certainly became challenging when I would spend 60-70 hours every week at the stadium. There were times where I struggled, but I think the struggles made me stronger and gave me a deeper appreciation for what I could be capable of if I put my mind to it,” Duffy said.

Duffy expressed her gratitude for her experiences and her hopes to pursue working in the sports field wherever it may take her.

“My greatest goal is to continue to learn and grow as a clinician, wherever that may be,” she said.

Duffy looks forward to sharing her experiences with other students and helping them land opportunities that are just as rewarding.

“I truly would not be where I am today if it weren't for the mentors I had helping me along the way. I am excited to be able to pay it forward and mentor students for my last semester on campus,” Duffy said.

This summer, Duffy will gain additional experience with the New York Giants for the team’s 2022 Training Camp.

“I truly would not be even close to where I am today if it weren't for staff, professors and students constantly pushing me to be better,” she said. “I owe it all to them! I encourage anyone with a dream of working in the NFL to keep working hard and staying true to themself. And most of all, keep pounding!”

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