Longtime Fairmont State University administrator and head athletic trainer Robert Cable has announced his retirement following the 2022-23 academic year. Cable is currently in his 32nd year at Fairmont State and currently serves as Senior Associate Director of Athletics for Sports Medicine & Game Day Management.
"When I came to Fairmont as the athletic director in the fall of 2020, Bob was one of the few people I remembered from my previous experience at Glenville State in the early 2000s," said Fairmont State Director of Athletics Greg Bamberger. "The knowledge and experience he had accumulated during his entire career helped greatly in my transition. Bob's dedication to the health and safety of our Falcon student-athletes is unquestioned and he will be greatly missed by many. We are going to do our best to find a suitable replacement for Bob, but that will be difficult. We wish Bob much success and enjoyment as he moves forward into this next phase of his life."
Cable, a well-respected leader in the athletic training community both regionally and nationally, was inducted into the West Virginia Athletic Trainers' Association Hall of Fame in April 2022 as he was presented the crystal trophy that honored his dedication and achievement in athletic training. Five years earlier, Cable was also inducted into the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Trainers' Association (MAATA) Hall of Fame in May of 2018. The achievement celebrated his service to Fairmont State University, the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) and MAATA.
Cable was also honored with the NATA service award during the summer of 2018.
"I have spent many great years at Fairmont State," said Cable. "I want to thank Colin Cameron for bringing me to Fairmont State. The second day I was at Fairmont State I met Rusty Elliott. Those two taught me what Fairmont State is all about: Family & Tradition. I have been fortunate to be a part of an excellent athletic department. I want to thank the athletic trainers, coaches and student-athletes I worked with. They helped me just as much as I helped them."
In addition to his work with NATA and MAATA through the years, Cable also chairs the Mountain East Conference Committee of Athletic Trainers. This leadership position required him to play a critical role in conference protocols and procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. His leadership helped the conference and its 12 member institutions to return safely to play during the Spring of 2021. That spring, each of the league's 23 sports safely returned to play with successful testing protocols and procedures on all 12 campuses.
Later that spring, Cable was named the co-Athletic Trainer of the Year by the West Virginia Athletic Trainers Association (WVATA).
The WVATA Athletic Trainer of the Year Award recognizes Cable's exemplary accomplishments in helping lead Fairmont State University through the challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Cable and his staff led the way at Fairmont State as well as at the conference level in dealing with the crisis, successfully developing and implementing numerous protocols and procedures to meet the safe competition guidelines established by the NCAA and the Mountain East Conference.
In May 2013, Cable was promoted to Associate Athletics Director for Sports Medicine and Game Day Management, before later being promoted to Senior Associate Athletics Director, at Fairmont State University. In addition to his duties of supervising athletic training for each of Fairmont State's 17 sports, the West Virginia Wesleyan College and West Virginia University graduate also helps organize and coordinate facility and event management for athletic contests at Fairmont State.
In addition to the recognitions mentioned above, Cable also earned the MAATA Service Award in May 2015. In 2010, Cable was named the NCAA Division II Trainer of the Year by the NATA and in 2007 he was named the Trainer of the Year by WVATA, the first of two times he received the prestigious honor.
Cable's 30-plus year tenure at Fairmont State has included many board and leadership positions within the Athletic Training community both regionally and nationally. He is very active within WVATA, MAATA and NATA.
Before coming to Fairmont State, Cable was the head athletic trainer, head women's softball coach and assistant women's basketball coach at West Virginia Wesleyan College. His softball team made the school's first trip to the NAIA National Softball Championship Tournament in his final season.
Cable also spent time as a clinical athletic trainer at Medbrook Sports Medicine Clinic and was an adjunct professor of health and physical education at Salem International University and Fairmont State University earlier in his career. He also worked as an athletic training intern with the NFL's Baltimore Colts early in his career.
Cable is married to the former Jill Hinkle. The couple has two grown children, Courtney and Jonathan.
Robert Moore (Men's Basketball)
"For me, Bob was so much more than a trainer. He was a friend when things weren't so bright for me there at Fairmont State. He was a big supporter of mine, especially when I got selected for the Hall of Fame. I honestly think he was prouder than I was when word came down that I had made it.
"So you see, trainer was Bob's primary job at Fairmont State, but to myself and so many other athletes who came through there he really was so much more.
"Funny story about Bob. He is the only person to ever beat me one-on-one in basketball and to this day he has refused my request for a rematch. It's true. He beat me."
Kara Morris (Women's Basketball)
"What would my time at Fairmont State have looked like without Bob Cable? Honestly, I just can't imagine it. I could not have asked for a more supportive, caring and devoted athletic trainer.
"He showed up early to tape ankles and he would stay late to nurse any injury, not just for me, but also for the other numerous athletes at Fairmont State. Bob never made you feel like you were inconveniencing him. Instead, he made me feel it was crucial to getting me healthy and back on the court, and he took a lot of pride in doing that.
"As an athlete I was lucky to have Bob Cable as my trainer. As a young female athlete away from home and learning how to balance the academic part of college, basketball and life I was grateful that Bob was there to be able to talk to about anything and offer adult advice when I needed it."
Kristen Gattuso (Women's Basketball)
"Bob is one of the most hard working and dedicated persons I have ever met. Despite all of the travel and early mornings, he was always there providing us athletes with whatever treatments or help we needed. Even if it meant setting up his own training area at an away game, he was ready for anything.
"One time in my career an injury forced me to have to go to the hospital. Bob was there. Knowing that he cared for us above and beyond what a normal trainer would created a bond and friendship which has lasted well beyond my years as a student athlete at Fairmont State.
"Bob not being on the sidelines of an FSU athletic event is almost unimaginable. However, I wish him nothing but the best in this well-deserved next chapter of his life."
Erin Ison (Women's Basketball, Assistant Women's Basketball Coach)
"First, let me say summing up my feelings about Bob is not easy to do in a couple of sentences.
"Bob and I spent a lot of time together during my time at Fairmont State due to the injuries I endured as an athlete. As a freshman I actually dreaded it, but over time it became a blessing. I would not have made it through my time there without him. He was always there to help me get healthy and back on the court, give me some tough love if I needed it or offer solid advice if I desired it.
"Bob is someone I've always missed since I left Fairmont State and he's one of the first people I look forward to seeing when I return to the area. It goes without saying that he is a fantastic athletic trainer, but for me and many others he's a better friend.
"I love you Bob and congratulations on your retirement from Fairmont State."
Mike Joseph (Football)
"I would like to take the time to congratulate and thank Bob Cable on a remarkable career.
"I have learned during my lifetime through sports and now coaching that two traits that speak highly of your character are loyalty and consistency. Bob displayed these throughout his career toward the university, staff, coaches and most importantly the student-athletes. He has mentored thousands of athletes and young athletic trainers throughout his time and has left his mark by leaving his position in a better spot then when he took over. He has always been ahead of the curve with training modalities and techniques.
"Personally, I want to thank Bob on his commitment and for the time he gave toward my career and my health. He was a great mentor who became a great friend after my career ended. I never missed a snap or a game throughout my career and for that I can thank my training and Bob's guidance and care.
"Bob has sacrificed most of his life in service to student-athletes. I hope he has the opportunity to enjoy time with family and watch all of his athletes, students and peers succeed largely due to his leadership.
"Bob, thank you for all of your efforts and I hope you enjoy retirement."
Seth Younkin (Men's Basketball)
"It feels like just yesterday that I walked into Bob Cable's office as a freshman with an ankle injury. Bob thought I was just being a freshman and told me I had to get stronger. That was until I had another ankle surgery for bone spurs. Following that, Bob and I forged a friendship that will last a lifetime.
"He is so much more than just an athletic trainer to me. This past summer we spent months together rehabbing my most recent injury – a torn ACL and meniscus in my knee. Each visit he would bust my butt day in and day out. He'd make the rehab as hard as possible and I would ask for more to do. Now, thanks to Bob and my willingness to work hard I'm back on the floor full time and playing this season.
"Bob has believed in me since my freshman year when coach (Joe) Mazzulla was here. It's my fifth year now and Bob has been the one constant here for me at Fairmont State. I've been through coaching changes, teammates transferring and a lot of things, but Bob has always been here for me and many others.
"Next season at Fairmont State will not be the same without him. I'm not sure people really understand that right now. Bob has helped me and countless other athletes here through much more than just injuries. Being able to go to him to talk about life or whatever is one of the other great things that Bob has done for the student-athletes here. He will absolutely be missed."
Rusty Elliott (Former Head Football Coach and Director of Athletics)
"Bob Cable, the legend. Webster's Dictionary defines a legend as someone who is extremely famous and notorious in their field for doing something extremely well. A living legend is someone who is doing it right now, while they're living.
"To Fairmont State University student athletes, Bob Cable is truly a living legend.
"Bob Cable came to Fairmont State when we were in dire need of a trainer. He came to us from West Virginia Wesleyan and at the time, not a lot of people knew who he was. It didn't take long for people at Fairmont State to find out Bob Cable was the real deal. Most of the trainers prior to Bob at FSU would tape your ankle and tell you to come back in two weeks. Not Bob. He was a true athletic trainer in every sense. He would treat you, diagnose you, find out what your problem or problems were and try to rehabilitate you to get you back on the field or court in a timely manner.
"When I became athletics director, we moved Bob's training room from a small 20' x 20' space to the new, current large 100' x 100' training facility. He now, not only has a training room, but a clinic to get athletes healthy and prepare them to return to competition in their sport.
"I've personally witnessed Bob treat athletes all night long in an attempt to get them on the court for a game the next day. Over his many years at Fairmont State he has sacrificed so much of his own free time and personal life to better serve the athletes at our university. I've also seen Bob pay for things out of his own money so Fairmont would have the latest and most modern training equipment for its athletes.
"He, quite simply, is the greatest. As I said in the beginning, he is a legend in his own time and I love Bob Cable for what he has done and continues to do for Fairmont State University and its student-athletes."