Former Bulldog applies lessons from the gridiron to medical practice

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Coach Pat Hill always had a saying: anybody, anytime, anywhere. That saying has stuck with Dr. Juan Bautista and motivated him decades later.

"And even now as a physician, people ask how I work these crazy hours... it just kind of goes all the way back from back to the Pat Hill days," Bautista said.

He played defensive back on Hill's early 2000s Fresno State football teams, alongside Bulldog greats like David Carr and Bernard Berrian. After football, Bautista followed in his father's footsteps, pursuing a career in the medical field.

He's been a practicing physician in Fresno for about nine years. He cares for a lot of former athletes and even sees his old coach, whose expectations for his players set a tone for Bautista.

"Those were all things that translated later on, that hard work and those high standards, that anytime, anyplace, anywhere," he said.

He's needed that work ethic to push through as a doctor fighting on the frontlines against the COVID-19 pandemic after fighting the virus himself.

"I got really sick during the first wave and was hospitalized," Bautista said. "As well as had a couple of close people pass away, unfortunately. So that just told us, hey, we need to step it up even more."

He's stepped up by providing free COVID testing, becoming one of the first clinics in California to offer the monoclonal antibody cocktail that was given to President Trump, and he'll be able to vaccinate the community soon.

In addition to everything he's doing medically, he and other former players teamed up to provide scholarships to ex-athletes who wanted to go back to school.

"And to this day, 40 years old going on 41 as a physician, I'm still looking saying man, I hope Coach Hill saw that. I'm still hoping to make them proud as their teammate and as their ex-player."

That anybody, anytime, anywhere mentality keeps fueling him long after he first heard it.

"I think we could definitely pop our chest out and say here in the Central Valley that we've done a lot for the community and here in the Central Valley, Bulldogs are doing a lot."
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