Longtime Bears head equipment manager Tony Medlin was honored as one of the Chicago Defender's "Men of Excellence" last Friday night at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.
According to the Defender, the awards banquet celebrated 50 African American men who inspire others through their vision and leadership, exceptional achievement and participation in community service. These men exemplify extraordinary strength and commitment to their profession and to the community while filling the roles of leaders, fathers, teachers and professionals.
"I'm very happy to receive this award because it gives me an opportunity to inspire young men and women," Medlin said.
Medlin is entering his 32nd season with the Bears and his 22nd as the team's head equipment manager. He's responsible for coordinating all team equipment operations including logistics, purchasing and inventory for all players, coaches and staff. Medlin also serves as the team's liaison with the NFL's sole apparel providers, Nike and New Era.
Medlin has been honored as the NFL's top equipment manager twice in his career, earning the Whitey Zimmerman Award in 2000 and New Era's Equipment Manager of the Year Award in 2016.
In 2017, Medlin was the recipient of the Virginia Award, presented annually to the Bears employee who has demonstrated the characteristics and values of Mrs. McCaskey: grace, humility, loyalty and dedication.
Medlin is active in several charitable endeavors, most notably as the chairman of the annual Chicago Bears coat drive, which collects tens of thousands of coats during the holiday season.