Robin Gibson is using off into the sundown.
Gibson, who started her profession at Florida State as a graduate assistant 33 years in the past and labored her solution to Director of Sports activities Drugs in 2011, is retiring.
Her final day is Wednesday – and she or he’s off to the seashore on Thursday, April Fools’ Day.
Gibson will likely be missed.
“She’s a tremendous champion for the welfare of each athlete, famous person or walk-on,” FSU staff doctor Dr. Invoice Thompson mentioned.
Although one to shortly credit score others and draw back from fanfare, Gibson deserves a rousing sendoff.
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She has led a workers that’s chargeable for the care, remedy and rehabilitation of greater than 500 student-athletes. That’s a standard day, usually seven days per week, however nothing has been regular for the previous yr.
Final spring, because the COVID-19 pandemic unfold throughout the globe and shut down sports activities, Gibson did not hesitate.
She shortly formulated a plan that ensured the essential wants of athletes, both via varied on-line platforms or in-house applications, and that operational continuity was met.
A yr later, the pandemic continues to disrupt athletics and lives – at the same time as FSU successfully cares for the athletes they serve.
Gibson is able to raise her masks, exhale and really feel the solar on her cheeks.
“I’m nonetheless making an attempt to check retirement,” Gibson admitted.
“My first day will likely be very uncommon, specializing in myself as an alternative of others. Sitting on the seashore will likely be an excellent begin.”
Gibson is thought for her professionalism, competitiveness and a management type that allowed her workers to study and excel. She wish to be remembered for caring deeply concerning the athletes, her workers and the coaches, and doing her finest to influence lives.
Gibson, accompanied by a heat smile, totally loved watching gamers and groups obtain their targets – as she did as a former school basketball participant at San Diego State and later as a triathlete who competed in her first Ironman competitors in 2011. At age 59, Gibson laughed and mentioned the power and enthusiasm generated by Seminole athletes “made me really feel like I’m 40.”
Third baseman Jessie Warren, who helped lead the softball staff to its first NCAA nationwide title in 2018, fondly recollects Gibson’s calm, reassuring demeanor as Warren ready for labrum surgical procedure in 2016. Warren barley slept at night time as she skilled emotions of nervousness and nervousness.
“She walked into the (coaching) room, and had essentially the most real, understanding, viewpoint on the state of affairs and allowed me to simply chill out and be an athlete, and never fear concerning the future and the surgical procedure,” mentioned Warren, who added she wasn’t certain if Gibson remembered the trade.
“She can be at our video games on a regular basis and was so completely happy that I used to be in a position to have my life lit up by her contagious persona.”
Right here’s a enjoyable truth:
Gibson has been to the NCAA postseason with an FSU staff yearly in her tenure, has been to the Ladies’s School World Sequence seven instances, the ladies’s Soccer School Cup six instances and has three nationwide championship rings (two softball and soccer).
Gibson constructed a proficient, close-kinit and various workers at FSU. She has spent the previous few years splitting time between her sports activities drugs duties and rendering medical look after the Seminoles’ soccer staff.
“She could be very caring for everyone, treating the athletes and all of us as household,” mentioned Jake Pfeil, FSU’s govt affiliate director of sports activities drugs who stepped into Gibson’s function Tuesday on an interim foundation – and ought to be elevated to the fulltime place, if he pursues it.
“Robin enabled us to what we would have liked to do by supporting us, as an alternative of telling us what to do. There was a belief there.”
Gibson was a trendsetter, too.
She has helped pave the way in which for different ladies to achieve a subject that was as soon as dominated by males. Fifty-five 55 % of the Nationwide Athletic Coach Affiliation’s membership are ladies. (Nonetheless, greater than two-thirds of the pinnacle athletic coaching jobs at universities are occupied by males).
Shelly Mullenix – LSU’s Senior Affiliate Athletic Director/Well being and Wellness – isn’t one to behave on impulse.
Nevertheless, Mullenix thinks a lot of Gibson that she drove six hours from Louisiana to Tallahassee to shock her mentor at an impromptu, farewell get-together a couple of weeks in the past.
“She gave me each alternative I had, so to not be there actually wasn’t an choice,” mentioned Mullenix, a former graduate assistant athletic coach (1992-93) and assistant athletic coach (1993-96) at FSU. Gibson was additionally a bridesmaid in Mullenix’s wedding ceremony.
Profitable athletic trainers are identified for his or her ardour, confidence, interpersonal expertise and a spotlight to element. Gibson exhibited all these qualities – and lots of extra, along with consistency and genuineness, that allowed trainers reminiscent of Mullenix to really feel assured about their selections.
A local of Buffalo and die-hard Payments fan, Gibson is not one to waste time or phrases both. Mullenix identified the time she helped Gibson lay sod in her yard.
“It wasn’t an off-the-cuff sod-laying afternoon – we have been working it,” Mullenix mentioned and laughed, including “I’d like to see Robin in 5 years” referring to, and questioning how, retirement and Gibson are getting alongside.
Splendidly is the guess.
Completely happy, relaxed and tanned, too.
“The very best I can describe it’s that I’m very grateful,” Gibson mentioned of her FSU tenure.
“Simply grateful and honored to be a part of one thing very particular.”
Attain Jim Henry at [email protected]
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