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The Fred Hoover Training Room

The Fred Hoover Training Room

Nov. 22, 2000

By Mandie Parrish Sports Information Graduate AssistantThe South Carolina Game Program – November 18, 2000

If you’re an injured Clemson athlete, you get orders to visit the basement of Jervey Athletic Center.


Trust me, this doesn’t look like any normal basement. This room is big, bright and open. Through the full-paneled glass windows at the back are three hydro-therapy tanks, one large and two smaller. To the right are offices, a big reception area, examining tables and cabinets full of medical supplies. To the left are more cabinets, rows of more padded tables, bikes, stairclimbers, weights and strength machines, offices and tape.

There are TONS of tape. And it is stacked high on the tables. But that comes with the territory.

This brand-new training facility is state-of-the-art. Doctors have offices there, an orthapedic examining room, and there is a conference room and library. There is plenty of room. And room is just what the doctor ordered.

Danny Poole, director of sports medicine at Clemson, was in need of more room before this new training/rehabilitation room was built. Before, there were many chopped-up rooms and space to work and rehabilate athletes was hard to come by.

“This place had been in the planning stage for a while,” Poole said. ” We were allowed to design a place to fit what was best for us.”

“We basically gutted this place,” Poole continued. “They came in here with Bob-Cats and tore it up. We moved out down here the last of February last year and moved back in the last of July. We’re just very excited to have this facility.”

Fred Hoover, for whom the facility is named, served as Clemson’s head trainer for 40 years and was inducted into the Clemson and national training Hall of Fame. He is proud of the facility and proud to have his name affiliated with it.

“Mr. (Bobby) Robinson said we needed a state-of-the-art training room that was functional and workable from the trainers’ standpoint,” he said. “We also wanted a training room that would be one of the best in the country.”

” When we built the origional training room in Jervey, it was incredible at that time,” Hoover remembered. “It was just time to improve on it.”

The training room has not always been in Jervey, however. Hoover came to Clemson in 1959 when the whole athletic department was located in Fike. Thus, the training room was in the basement. (What is it with training rooms and basements?)

At that time, there were only six varsity sports at Clemson: football, basketball, track, golf, tennis and baseball… And they all operated out of Fike with the exception of basketball, which had a small training room in Littlejohn Coliseum.

Hoover and his staff knew they needed a larger area from which to work, and a space was allotted for them when plans for Jervey were being drawn. Hoover and his staff had to operate out of the rooms located at the end-zone of Memorial Stadium for a little over a year until the new training room space was available. If that wasn’t enough to complicate matters football players were walking from the practice fields across Perimeter Road to the training room in their cleats.

Not good for the cleats.

A dirt trail had to be made across the road so the players could get to the training rooms without making their cleats dull.

Finally, the trainers moved into Jervey, but the building was still under construction. While Hoover and the rest of the training staff was tending to the athletes, the offices upstairs were still being built. Imagine the racket. When all of Jervey was finally finished, the training room was triple the size of the area they had in Fike.

And last year, they needed to grow again.

The planning stage took a few years, but the result and benefits are amazing. The new center replaced all the original space and took over the space from what used to be a weight room, storage area and a players lounge. The steam room and sauna were taken out and replaced by the new hydro-therapy tanks.

Because of the training room’s size, trainers can now work on more athletes than ever before. And the constand flow of traffic that visits the training room is no small potatoes either.

The facility handles athletes from all of Clemson’s sports. Trainers are there at seven in the morning and stay until they aren’t needed any longer in the evening.

Poole has a staff of four full-timers, 13 students and nine graduat assistants that are kept busy all the time. This new area facilitates the flow of athletes that need rehabilitation. However, trainers are always kept busy, even in the so-called “off-season.”

Athletes from all sports except one are treated and taped in the facility. Basektball is the only sport with a seperate training room in Littlejohn (as in earlier years), but rehabilitation for all sports is done in Jervey. That makes for a large volume of traffic in and out to see Poole and his staff.

“It never slows up in here,” Poole commented. “The only down-time we might have is in between semesters. Even in the summer there are athletes here, there is no off-season.”

The gutting and new additions to the training room were definately needed. One of its biggest advantages is the number of people that can be treated at the same time. All the new equipment is a huge plus too. From the underwater treadmills and high-powered jets in the hydro-therapy area to the many tables and openess of the rehabilitation area, this place is as Hoover says, “state-of-the-art.”

“But the nicest honor,” Hoover said, “is that they put my name on it. It is a great honor.”

It is a fact, the Fred Hoover Training Room is one of the best in the nation.