Ohio State's head team physician is leaving the Buckeyes for a new position with the Big Ten.
The Big Ten announced Thursday morning that it had hired James Borchers, who has worked at Ohio State since 2004 and has become the head physician for the Ohio State athletic department since 2016, as the conference's first-ever chief medical officer.
“It is an honor to be named Chief Medical Officer for the Big Ten Conference, which has long been a leader in collegiate athletics,” Borchers said. “This will be a tremendous opportunity to collaborate with the talented medical professionals within the conference and across all levels of college and professional sports as we continue to provide a best-in-class environment of health, safety and wellness for our nearly 10,000 student-athletes.”
Borchers, who played football for the Buckeyes from 1989-93, was credited with playing a key role in the Big Ten's return to football last season. While the Big Ten initially canceled its fall football season due to COVID-19 and concerns about myocarditis, Borchers – who served as the co-chair of the medical subcommittee of the Big Ten's return to competition task force – was integral in putting together medical guidelines that ultimately led Big Ten presidents and chancellors to reverse their decision and start the football season in October.
“He's a skilled practitioner, he's a leader in this industry,” Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said Thursday at Big Ten Media Days. “I am really excited, Dr. Borchers, for you to make the commitment to join us here at the Big Ten Conference to help us continually elevate the importance of the health, both physical and mental, of our 10,000 student-athletes.”
In his new role, Borchers – who is also the president and co-founder of the U.S. Council for Athletes’ Health – will serve as a consultant to all 14 Big Ten member institutions on matters of student-athlete health and safety and will lead all conference sports medicine programming and initiatives, including policy development, research, educational opportunities, and public outreach.
Per Thursday's announcement, “Borchers will work closely with all key conference constituents to develop industry-leading practices and procedures. He also will serve as a conference spokesperson to effectively communicate health and medical matters to external stakeholders.”