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Sep 06, 2022

Clemson Legend Fred Hoover Passes

Clemson, S.C.—Former Clemson Athletic Trainer Fred Hoover, regarded as the Father of Sports Medicine in South Carolina, passed away Monday evening at his home in Clemson, SC at the age of 92.

According to his son, Brian Hoover, it is believed that he watched the Clemson vs. Georgia Tech football game Monday evening, then passed away shortly thereafter.

Hired by Clemson Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Frank Howard in 1959, Hoover served as Clemson’s top Athletic Trainer for 40 years. Hoover was inducted into the state of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame this past May, one of many honors for the Florida State graduate.    

Hoover was enshrined in the Citizens Savings-Helms Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame in 1981. In 1982 he was inducted into the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame. He worked another 16 years for the school after his induction.  He continued to work for the Clemson Athletic Department until recent years on a part-time basis as a liaison with the opposing team on football weekends.

A leader in his profession, Hoover served many administrative positions with the National Athletic Trainers Association, including Chairman of the Board.

In 1983, Hoover was the recipient of the Distinguished Service to Sports Medicine Award given by the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine.  Four years later he was honored by the state of South Carolina Hall of Fame with the organization’s Distinguished Service to Sports Award.  In 1990, he was made an honorary member of the Clemson Alumni Physicians Society.

In 1994, the South Carolina Athletic Trainers Association created the Fred Hoover Award for Excellence in Athletic Training.

During Hoovers career, he worked for seven Clemson head football coaches (Frank Howard to Tommy West). He worked with teams that went to 16 bowl games, won 11 ACC Championships and 13 top 25 teams. That includes the 1981 team that won the school’s first National Championship.

Over his Clemson career, Hoover worked with 38 All-Americans and 16 first-round draft selections. He coordinated the training needs for 17 Clemson players who went on to be Super Bowl Champions.

Overall, Hoover worked 446 Clemson football games, all consecutively.  He ran down the Hill at Death Valley 207 times.

The native of Jacksonville, FL graduated from Florida State in 1953. He served as an athletic trainer at his alma mater for two stints, 1952-53 and 1957-58, before coming to Clemson in 1959.