Bob Crandall, the long-time athletic trainer for East High and West High and now the Corning Hawks is hanging it up after the spring sports season, and with more than 40 years on the job he’s seen multiple state titles and accomplishments from the area.
The Leader talked with Crandall to ask him some questions about his life, career and what he has planned for life after the sidelines.
The Leader: You’ve been a staple in the community for the last 40+ years. Talk a little bit about your upbringing and why you chose to be a trainer
Bob Crandall: I guess I was always athletic and wanted to stay involved.
I played soccer, I played basketball, tennis, lacrosse and football. After I tore my ACL [playing soccer] and the doctor told me I wouldn’t be able to play sports again, I said is there anyone who could help me and he said if I was a pro player the trainers would help me.
That was in 1969 and there wasn’t any college programs yet for sports medicine.
I was married in 1973 and working in retail when I found out about a new program for athletic training. I quit my job and went back to college. My wonderful wife left her job and off we went to West Chester University.
TL: Over the course of your career, what was your favorite sports moment you’ve witnessed?
BC: The state title in ’06 (The Corning East Trojans defeated Cornwall 27-13) is certainly one of them.
I’m really good friends with Randy Holden, he’s one of the best coaches I’ve been around.
I was happy for the team and for him. I thought maybe I’d retire after the state championship, but that did not happen.
TL: Did you have any aspirations to go to the next level?
BC: When our class got out, we were actually the second of third class of athletic trainers around the area and we had chance to go wherever we wanted to really.
We all thought we wanted to go pro. I was a trainer for the Pioneers in 1980 when they were part of the Red Sox farm system, but I was content with staying around the area for the most part.
TL: Everyone is familiar with your name. What do you want people to remember about Bob Crandall the athletic trainer and more importantly, the man?
BC: I just loved athletics and loved being there. I was on the sidelines for over 50 East/West lacrosse games and I never missed a home East/West game.
I had great coaches and great athletes throughout the years, I can’t say enough about the coaches.
TL: Who’s the best athlete you’ve seen come out of the area?
BC: Oh wow, that’s a tough question. I’ve seen Joel Stephens and King Rice, but probably the best overall athlete i’ve seen is Dom Dinardo.
He ended up going to Hofstra and playing lacrosse. There’s been a ton of great athletes to come out of the area. Dom was just very good in anything he played and it was a pleasure watch him play.
TL: You were inducted into the Corning Painted-Post Sports Hall of Fame in 2008, what did that mean to you?
BC: It was a honor to be recognized to know that maybe you did some good in your life and you helped people overcome setbacks.
TL: You’ve been in the training business for all this time, what do you plan to do in retirement after the spring season?
BC: Might be a ball boy, (laughs) I’m going to get out of it though.
If Corning Lacrosse wins a state title this spring, it would be a good send off for me.