By Ilene Denton
Photography by Barbara Banks
“Your body has a lot more capability than you realize.”
DR. DANIEL LAMAR of Coastal Orthopedics is aiming for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but, at 44, off the field, not on, as team physician for the U.S. men’s soccer team.
A 1989 graduate of Manatee High School (he played football for the state champion Manatee Hurricanes and for Davidson College), Lamar is a sports medicine specialist who treats “professional athletes to weekend warriors to high school and older athletes,” he says. “The idea is to manage injuries and keep people going who want to remain active.”
This fall he accompanied the U.S.men’s soccer team to Copenhagen and France and then to Denver for the Olympic qualifiers, a follow-up to a whirlwind tour to five different countries in first eight months of 2015. “The soccer environment is an energized, fun environment and the athletes are impressive,” he says. Plus, “You get to see the world. It hasn’t gotten old yet.”
Lamar was team doctor for the Tampa Bay Bucccaneers for the past decade—the doctor who supervised his sports fellowship in orthopedics at the Uni-versity of Pennsylvania had been team doc for the Bucs—but stopped this year when the soccer opportunity presented itself. U.S. Men’s Soccer has a residency program in Bradenton at IMG Academy.
Lamar also is vice chief of staff at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, clinical director for the Gatorade Sports Science Institute at IMG, Manatee High School team doctor, a consultant for the Tennessee Titans and a consultant team physician for the Baltimore Orioles.
And in his spare time, he free dives in the waters off Manatee and Sarasota counties, and off Mexico and the Bahamas, too—on average between 40 and 60 feet with snorkels and a pair of fins, although he has dived as deep as 100 feet—mostly to spear fish with a group of friends. “The challenge is what motivates us, just to hold your breath and feel your physiology for over four minutes,” he says. “Maybe it’s a little bit crazy, but you learn that your body has a lot more capability than you realize.” ■