Ronnie Barnes has been with the Giants organization since 1976 and the team's head athletic trainer since 1980. He was promoted to the position of Vice President of Medical Services in 2003 and to Senior Vice President in 2011. During his 47 seasons with the team, Barnes has treated, counseled and befriended hundreds of players, coaches and staffers.
One of the most respected athletic trainers in professional sports, Barnes was elected to the National Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame in June 1999. In 2002, he was voted the Athletic Trainer of the Year by NFL physicians.
That same year, his alma mater, East Carolina University, honored Barnes for his many contributions to the school by opening the Ronnie Barnes African American Resource Center at the school's Joyner Library. The 5,200-square foot resource center collects materials about the legacy and future of African Americans in eastern North Carolina and the Southeast. It includes books, software, journals and collections of works on such influential figures as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.
Barnes was the first African American graduate of the Sports Medicine Department at ECU. He has since been elected to the East Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame and been named a winner of the Outstanding Alumni Award.
On March 20, 2004, Barnes was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at Fike High School in North Carolina.
In January 2019, Barnes was presented with a lifetime achievement award by the Fritz Pollard Alliance, a foundation which promotes diversity and minority hiring throughout the NFL, a cause Barnes has long fervently supported.
In the spring of this year, Barnes was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.
Since becoming the Giants' head athletic trainer, Barnes has twice been voted National Professional Trainer of the Year by the National Athletic Trainers Association. He served on the NATA board of certification for 10 years. Barnes is the past president of the NATA Research and Education Foundation. He is a member of the NFL Subcommittee on Mild Brain Trauma. Barnes recently completed a seven-year term as President of the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society. In June of 1996, he was awarded the NATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award. In 1999, Barnes and his assistants won the Ed Block Courage Award as the NFL Athletic Training Staff of the Year.
Barnes has lectured nationally and internationally on sports medicine. He wrote a popular textbook in the medical field called Athletic Training and Sports Medicine, Third Edition. He was named the March of Dimes Man of the Year in 1994.
In addition to his duties with the Giants, Barnes is a member of the Hospital for Special Surgery Board of Advisors.