40-Year Vet Of UVA Athletic Department, Dr. Frank McCue, Dies

July 9, 2012 /


A longtime University of Virginia orthopedic surgeon is being remembered around Charlottesville and across the nation.

Doctor Frank McCue III passed away Sunday.  McCue headed up the sports medicine program for the UVA athletic department for more than 40 years.  His name is on the building that houses the department.

Monday, friends are remembering McCue as a man who truly made a difference in the welfare of others.

“Frank McCue was everything from a pioneer to a mentor to a friend, an iconic figure in sports medicine, in surgery, particularly hand surgery,” said UVA Athletics Director Craig Littlepage.  “He impacted not only college, student athletes but grade school student athletes, high school.”

McCue got his undergraduate degree and medical degree from UVA.  He retired in 2003.  McCue was 82 years old.

University of Virginia
Press Release

Longtime Virginia orthopedic surgeon Dr. Frank C. McCue III, who headed up the sports medicine program for the University of Virginia athletic department for more than 40 years, died Sunday. He was 82.

McCue was a doctor and medical assistant for the U.Va. athletic program from 1961 to 2003. A West Virginia native, he received his undergraduate degree (1952) and medical degree (1956) from the University and completed his residency there. 

After leaving for a hand-surgery fellowship in California, McCue returned to U.Va. in 1961, where he became a professor of orthopedic surgery and later director of U.Va.’s Division of Sports Medicine and Hand Surgery.

“Frank McCue represented the values that make the University of Virginia great. He was selfless, dedicated, professional and always ready to serve the University he so loved,” U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan said. “His presence will be greatly missed, and his contributions simply cannot be overstated.”

During his tenure at U.Va., McCue treated many Cavalier student-athletes and other athletes and patients from the across the state. He served as surgeon to the University of Richmond, the College of William & Mary and Virginia Military Institute athletics programs before they had their own doctors.

“No one loved the University of Virginia more, nor has anyone done more to contribute to the welfare of citizens across the commonwealth than Frank McCue,” U.Va. athletics director Craig Littlepage said. “When I think about people who truly made a difference in the welfare of others, Dr. McCue will be at the top of my list.

“He was more than a pioneer in the fields of sports medicine and hand surgery. Dr. McCue dedicated his life to ensuring the health and welfare of athletes of all levels and citizens around the country and the region. It is hard to estimate the number patients he served, the number of aspiring doctors and trainers he mentored, or the number of hours he volunteered during his career. There will never be another like him.”

McCue retired in 2003 and was named Professor Emeritus of Orthopedics at the U.Va. Medical Center. He later became the first inductee to the Order of the Crossed Sabres, which is noted as the Virginia Football Alumni Club’s highest honor. His presence in sports medicine continues as the Virginia High School Coaches Association annually presents a sports medicine award in his honor. 

“Frank always put others before himself,” said Leonard W. Sandridge, former U.Va. executive vice president and chief operating officer. “He was a generous mentor of medical students, an effective caregiver for athletes of all ages and a highly respected physician within the profession.” 

In 1998, the McCue Society was created to provide a variety of scholarships in the field of sports medicine to both graduates and undergraduates. The society, made up of McCue’s former colleagues, fellows, athletic trainers, students and friends, also provides a forum for sports medicine education and research.

The McCue Center, U.Va.’s primary athletics support building, was dedicated in 1991 and named in his honor.

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