Callaway athletic trainer elected vice president of GATA

Published 8:45 am Saturday, March 18, 2023

Callaway’s athletic trainer, Rob Dicks, continues to make his presence felt in the athletic community at so many different levels. On Thursday, he was announced as the new vice-president of the Georgia Athletic Trainers’ Association (GATA) and is set to serve a two year term in that role.

“I’ve always looked for a role that would give me a seat at the table and this gets me there,” Dicks said. “Hopefully, I can take this and keep on moving up and moving up.

“I’m the type of person that if I believe I can help in any way. If there is something where I feel like I can step in and be a positive force for, I’m going to do it.”

This gives Dicks an even bigger platform to get his voice heard and help enact positive change within the athletic training community. 

He is on the path to becoming president of the association in two years but is focused on his new job in the meantime. He is already forging a path forward with president and friend Andy Grubbs as they guide the association into the future.

“One of our main goals is to get athletic trainers in every secondary school in the state of Georgia,” Dicks said, “I would love that because it is needed. That is one of the main things we are going to work on. We advocate for the profession throughout the state.”

In an industry without enough minority leadership, it is a privilege and an honor for Dicks to break through glass ceilings. 

“I believe I’m the first VP that is a person of color,” Dicks said. “I talked with my buddy who has been in the game longer than I have and says in his 30+ years he hasn’t seen a black VP (of GATA). That’s a big deal for me and a lot of people like me that are coming up.”

It is a role he threw his name in the hat of two years ago but had too many responsibilities to serve in the role to his fullest capabilities. Two years passed, Dicks stepped down from LaGrange College and found himself at Callaway High, which allowed him to pursue other ventures such as his work with GATA.

“I’ve always done other stuff outside of my primary job with the college,” Dicks said. “I’ve been able to do even more stuff with my private business and mentorships since taking the job at Callaway.”

After leaving LaGrange College, Dicks did not know where he would end up. He was helping Callaway’s hunt for a new athletic trainer and the more he thought about it, the more the job appealed to him. It did not take athletic director Pete Wiggins long to know he had the perfect candidate.

“When I was leaving the college, I had nothing set up,” Dicks said. “It’s truly a blessing that fell right into my lap.”

Dicks has revolutionized the athletic department at Callaway, changing the way athletes are handled. He did not know what he needed after LaGrange College, but Callaway is everything he wants in a job. Despite being a Cavalier less than a year, he sees himself retiring as a member of the Callaway staff.