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Dr. Jesse Delee

Born: September 26, 1945 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Dr. DeLee was reared in Port Arthur, Texas, attending Tyrrell, Robert E. Lee Elementary Schools, Thomas Edison Junior High School, and Thomas Jefferson High School.  He participated in YMCA Little League Baseball and was a member of the YMCA All-Star Team that played for the State championship in 1957.  He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1964, attended college for three years, followed by medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, Texas, in 1967.  In 1970, he graduated from UTMB after three years.  He was elected to the prestigious AOA Medical Honor Society in his junior year of medical school.  Dr. DeLee completed an Orthopedic Residency at The University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio in 1975. 


Jesse then completed a six-month fellowship in joint replacement surgery with Professor Sir John Charnley in Wrightington, England.

Professor Charnley is acknowledged as the founder of total knee and hip replacement surgery.  In 1976, upon his return from England, Dr. DeLee joined an Orthopedic Surgery private practice in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 


In 1978, he returned to San Antonio.   He joined the medical faculty of the Orthopedic Department at The University of Texas Health Sciences Center, where he remained until 1983, achieving the position of Professor of Orthopedic Surgery.  In 1983, he was awarded the prestigious ABC Traveling Fellowship in Orthopedic Surgery, where he lectured as a representative of the American Orthopedic Association in England and South Africa.  In 1983, he entered private practice in Orthopedic Surgery in San Antonio, Texas, specializing in Sports Medicine and joint replacement surgery. 

Dr. DeLee became interested in Sports Medicine due to the influence of his high school football coach, Clarence Buckshot Underwood, in Port Arthur.  Coach Underwoods’ influence led Dr. DeLee to attend college and medical school and undertake his future with the determination to be the best in his profession.  Coach Underwood is known for the many players whose lives he impacted, including Underwood students Coaches Ronnie Thompson and Jimmy Johnson.  Jesse has served as Chairman of the State of Texas UIL University Interscholastic League Medical Advisory Committee since its inception in 2000.


Dr. Jesse C. DeLee is recognized as an expert in Orthopedic Sports Medicine, hip and knee replacement, and reconstructive surgery.  He is board-certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and subspecialty-certified in Sports Medicine by the American Orthopedic Society of Sports Medicine.  He has performed countless total hip and knee replacements and arthroscopic knee procedures, including

meniscal repair, ligament repairs and reconstructions, and articular cartilage procedures over a forty-six-year period.   Dr. DeLee is an Adjunct Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at UT Health San Antonio (formerly The University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio).  He has authored over 175 scientific articles for various medical journals and numerous orthopedic book chapters.   Dr. DeLee has lectured at multiple national and international medical meetings since 1978.


  Doctors DeLee and John A. Evans established an educational foundation in 1989.  The DeLee-Evans Foundation currently provides scholarships to students pursuing a career in athletic training.  Over $500,000 has been awarded by the Foundation since its inception.


In 1994, Dr. DeLee co-authored with Dr. David Drez Orthopedic Sports Medicine, which is recognized as the gold-standard textbook in the field of Orthopedics Sports Medicine, which is now in its fifth edition. 

In 1989 Dr. DeLee established a one-year postgraduate fellowship in Orthopedic Sports Medicine at The University of Texas Health Sciences Center.  This Fellowship provided training for board-eligible Orthopedic Surgeons in the subspecialty of Sports Medicine.  Dr. DeLee directed this Fellowship until 2014.  During this time, over forty-five orthopedic surgeons were trained in the program.

Since 1978, Dr. DeLee has directed the annual Symposium on Sports Medicine for the UT Health Sciences Center. In 2023, this program is in its 50th year and provides education in Sports Medicine to athletic trainers, physical therapists, and physicians. Since graduating from medical school, Dr. DeLee has donated his time to provide medical coverage on the game sidelines for high school football games in San Antonio, which began in 1974 and continues to this day.  In this capacity, he has attended approximately 1,000 area high school games on the sideline as a team physician.  In 2022 D. DeLee was inducted into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame, recognizing his efforts, support, and many years of contributing his services as a team physician to area high schools.  Jesse served on those Friday & Saturday night sidelines for so many Texas Teams and games with commitment and care.


Jesse was also selected as a “healthcare hero” by the San Antonio Business Journal.   2012 Dr. DeLee delivered the prestigious Kennedy Lectureship at the annual American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine meeting.  He was also elected into the American Orthopedic Society of Sports Medicine (AOSSM) “Hall of Fame” in 2017.  This coveted award is the highest honor awarded by the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine.   In 2020, Dr. DeLee was awarded the Thomas A. Brady Award Community Service Award by the AOSSM for “forty years of service to the high school community” in San Antonio. 


In 1980, at the infamous Port Arthur, Thomas Jefferson, Yellow Jacket playoff Game for the State Championship featuring Todd Dodge was held in the old Dallas Cowboy Texas Stadium.  Dr. DeLee joined Coach Ronnie Thompson and the Team on the sidelines as one of the team physicians.   The weather was extremely harsh, with high winds and below-freezing conditions.  Dr. DeLee knew that the extreme cold would be hard on the players, so he suggested that Coach Thompson send someone out to purchase Panty Hose for the entire team.  It would provide additional insulation for the windy below-freezing conditions and help the team cope with the harsh weather.

Dr. DeLee’s commitment to serving athletes resulted in him starting the first Saturday-morning Sports Medicine Clinic in San Antonio and South Texas at the Nix Hospital in 1983.  This clinic served athletes in San Antonio and South Texas until 2014 when it was moved to its current location in the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System.


In addition to his dedicated service in medicine, Dr. DeLee is a

prolific Sports Historian, having researched and written stories and papers about 1909, 1929, and 1944 Port Arthur, Thomas Jefferson Yellow Jacket football Teams.  That 1929 football team was inducted into the Museum of the Gulf Coast Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.


Dr. DeLee noted, “My profession has allowed me to be a servant to my patients and has provided me with a lifetime of treasured relationships and continued learning for which I am exceedingly grateful.”

Induction into the Texas High School Hall of Fame 2022

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