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Denny Kellington

Bills athletic trainer, OSU alumnus Kellington to speak at spring graduation

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Media Contact: Mack Burke | Associate Director of Media Relations | 405-744-5540 |

Buffalo Bills athletic trainer Denny Kellington became a household name after his quick actions helped save a life on live television. On May 13, the Oklahoma State University alumnus will return to his alma mater to speak at OSU’s spring commencement.

In January, millions of people tuned into ESPN’s Monday Night Football for a game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals. The game quickly became an afterthought as Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field. Thanks to a timely response from Buffalo’s athletic training and medical staff, Hamlin received life-saving CPR and ultimately recovered.

Kellington played a crucial part in the ordeal, garnering praise for his response and even earning an MVP vote at the annual NFL honors.

On March 29, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul awarded Kellington and the entire Buffalo Bills medical staff with the Executive Chamber - Special Citation. Additionally, the New York State Senate and Assembly awarded the group a Legislation Resolution.

Kellington, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in health and human performance in 2000, is looking forward to being the keynote speaker for OSU’s undergraduate ceremonies on May 13 inside Gallagher-Iba Arena.

“At Oklahoma State, the Cowboy Code and a spirit of service are foundational to our culture,” said OSU President Kayse Shrum. “When the world was watching, Denny Kellington and the Buffalo Bills medical team responded immediately with lifesaving action. He is the epitome of what it means to be an OSU Cowboy, and we are honored to have him come back to his alma mater to share his inspirational story with our graduates.”

A Midwest City, Oklahoma, native, Kellington has worked as an athletic trainer for the Denver Broncos, the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe, done graduate work at Ohio State University, the Ohio Center for Orthopedic Excellence, Syracuse University and currently, the Bills.

Denny Kellington
Kellington is currently an assistant athletic trainer with the Buffalo Bills.

As an assistant athletic trainer for Buffalo, Kellington has presented on a variety of topics around the country ranging from case studies to emergency preparedness. He is also an active member of Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS), volunteering for the PFATS vendor show committee. Recently, PFATS honored Kellington and his fellow staff members with the 2023 PFATS Presidents Award.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to address the 2023 graduates at Oklahoma State University,” Kellington said. “To have the chance to return to my alma mater, where I sat many years ago, and to share my personal and professional journey, is absolutely amazing. Oklahoma State University was a vital part of my journey, and I am extremely thankful to have the chance to share how my experiences here impacted my life while encouraging graduates to be active members in their communities and chosen professions.”

The 146th undergraduate ceremonies for OSU-Stillwater will start at 9 a.m. with the Ferguson College of Agriculture and the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology. At 12:30 p.m., the Spears School of Business will have its ceremony, followed by the College of Arts and Sciences at 3:30 p.m. and ending with Kellington’s alma mater, the College of Education and Human Sciences at 6:30 p.m.

Graduates should arrive 30 minutes prior to ceremony start time and enter through Boone Pickens Stadium’s Gate 1 South. Doors on the east side of Gallagher-Iba Arena will open for guests one hour prior to the ceremony start time. 

Ceremonies for the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Graduate College will be May 12 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.

The OSU Institute of Technology (OSUIT) will have its graduation at 5 p.m., April 21 in Covelle Hall on the campus in Okmulgee. OSU-Oklahoma City will host its commencement ceremony at Jim Norick Arena on the state fairgrounds at 6 p.m. May 12. 

The OSU Center for Health Sciences will have two ceremonies at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., May 13 at the Mabee Center on the campus of Oral Roberts University.

OSU-Tulsa will have its ceremony at 6:30 p.m., May 15, at the Union High School Multipurpose Activity Center in Tulsa.

All commencements aside from OSUIT will be livestreamed through Roku, Amazon Fire and Apple TV via the Inside OSU app, and at OSUIT’s ceremony will be available on demand after the ceremony.

For more information on OSU’s graduation ceremonies, visit

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