After graduating from Mercyhurst and the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Molli completed a five-year orthopedic surgery residency in the Metro-Detroit area, where he met his wife. He would go on to practice in Michigan for five years before returning to Meadville in 2015. There, he would grow a thriving concierge practice, with patients traveling from miles around to seek his care. But his handiwork went beyond rebuilding knees and hips. A skilled woodworker, Molli designed and helped build his own medical building, equipping it with six fireplaces, two of which are framed with classic oak mantels that he restored from the old building contractors demolished to construct the new one. In every sense, Molli was determined to banish the cold, sterile environment reminiscent of many medical facilities for one that would be a calming, comfortable space for his patients. One of those patients was former Mercyhurst registrar Sister Pat Whalen, RSM, for whom Molli did a total replacement of both hips and a left knee. As much as she might have enjoyed her
the Lakers, excelling under former football coach Marty Schaetzle and wrestling coach Mike Wehler. “I loved being part of both teams,” Hale said. “In 2010, football won the PSAC, and it was awesome to share that with the coaches and players. With wrestling, even though there are only two guys on the mat, there’s a great team feeling there, too.” In time, Hale knew he had to focus on academics, and he discovered Athletic Training. “I never even knew that strength and conditioning coaching was a career,” he said. “But I really got into it. Through my own training, I saw the benefits of what it did for me on the mat and on the field.” Eager to absorb more, he branched out into the science behind athletic training, ultimately graduating from Mercyhurst with a B.S. and M.S. in Exercise Science in 2011 and 2012, respectively. From there, former Mercyhurst faculty member Dr. Christine Lo Bue-Estes opened doors for him to intern with the Buffalo Bills, a steppingstone to a stint at the University of Tennessee, and then to Eastern Michigan University where he started as a full-time assistant for two years, advancing to co-director of Sports Performance, where he remained for the next five years. There he strengthened a conviction that he first discovered at Mercyhurst: “It’s not what you do that matters as much as how you do it. The science matters.” Over time, he became known as a strength and conditioning coach who held his athletes to a high standard and an equally high level of accountability. Word must have made its way to Notre Dame, because in 2020 Hale got a call. “In a way, it was a step back,” he said. “They wanted me to take an assistant job, and I was in a director’s position, but I saw it as an opportunity.” So, Hale and his wife, Valerie, whom he met and married in Michigan, moved to South Bend and are expecting their first child.
surroundings, she was most grateful for the
techniques Molli used to allow her “a quick, pain-free recovery.”
“In addition to education prior to surgeries and follow-up care
after each surgery, I received a handbook that provided a detailed explanation of the surgeries
and outlined exercises that promoted my healing,” she said.
Dr. Ryan Molli designed and helped to build his offices.
Fred Hale ’11 ’12M: ‘It’s not what you do that matters as much as how you do it’ Fred Hale had made a name for himself at Mentor High School as a top athlete, garnering all-state honors in football and wrestling and even finding time for track and field. When it came time for college, he wanted to earn an athletic scholarship, so his parents wouldn’t have to worry about paying for his education. He knew very little about Mercyhurst, but his late father, a truck driver whose main route took him between Mentor and Harborcreek, was familiar. “That’s in Erie, Pennsylvania. I can drive that with my eyes closed,” Fred Hale Sr. said at the time. A full scholarship, his dad’s quasi endorsement, and the fact that his parents could come to see him play anytime sealed the deal. And what a kickoff it was toward an unexpected but totally incredible career that took him to the University of Notre Dame, where today he is assistant head strength coach for Irish football. But back to Mercyhurst. “It was a great place to grow up,” said Hale, who became an All-American at football and a standout wrestler for
Fred Hale played football and wrestled at Mercyhurst.
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