The much-lauded Bills' training staff added to its ranks on Thursday, with the organization promoting Marissa Figueroa to the role of full-time assistant athletic trainer.
With the announcement, she becomes the first woman to become a full-time trainer in the organization's history.
"Marissa is not afraid of the moment," general manager Brandon Beane said. "She blends in well with our young players and with our veterans on the team."
We’re excited to announce we’ve hired Marissa Figueroa as our newest assistant athletic trainer.— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) May 11, 2023
Marissa is the first woman to become a full-time ATC in franchise history: https://t.co/UxyKqlJkDP pic.twitter.com/F4QTclxTRB
The Corona, California, native has racked up gobs of experience in her short career, working for various athletic programs in the college and professional game. Now, she readies for her next challenge: spearheading one of the best medical units in all of sports.
It's a recognition Figueroa richly deserves, says Beane.
"The first thing you notice about Marissa is her positive attitude," Beane said. "She's always around and available to help out, and that's what you need in this industry. You show up here early in the morning and Marissa is here. Late in the day, she's here as well. She loves being around, and you can tell she's got passion for the job."
Here's everything you need to know about the trail-blazing trainer as she takes the next step in her professional career.
Who is Marissa Figueroa?
Figueroa has put together quite the resume over the course of her burgeoning career. She first showed her proclivity for the training table at Humboldt State as a kinesiology major. She then took her talents to California Baptist, wrapping ankles and mending bruises en route to an athletic training master's degree.
Figueroa's skillset grabbed the attention of the Chargers, who hired her as an intern in 2018. After a successful spell in the pro game, she returned to school, offering her services as athletic trainer for UC Davis' football and women's lacrosse teams.
It was clear that Figueroa was headed to the top. And the Bills made sure to snap her up, hiring her as an athletic training intern ahead of the 2021 season.
The good times kept rolling for the young star, who played a pivotal role in helping cornerback Tre'Davious White recover from an ACL tear.
"She scrubbed in through my surgery. She saw when they cut me open," White said, per WIVB 4. "My whole rehab, she’s been with me each and every day. Whenever I took a vacation in the summer, she tailored her time around mine. I owe a lot to her..."
Figueroa went from strength to strength in the year or so following White's injury. She was part of the cadre of Bills trainers honored for their efforts in saving Damar Hamlin's life when the safety collapsed in Week 16.
Now, she earns full-time distinction. Figueroa joins a staff already teeming with talented medical technicians, namely head athletic trainer Nate Breske, assistant athletic trainers Denny Kellington and Tabani Richards, and rehabilitation coordinator/physical therapist Joe Micca.