Former trainer remembers greatness

Stories will always be written about athletes who moved on from USF and found success at the professional level.

Occasionally, a story arises about someone who wasn’t an athlete, but still has success nonetheless.

Take Adam Rambo, for example. He picked up an issue of the Oracle and ended up making a life-altering decision that would lead him to the position of trainer during the USF football team’s inaugural season.

While at USF, Rambo did almost everything. A trainer for both basketball and football, he worked with Memphis Grizzlies player Chucky Atkins. When Rambo got out of school, he went to work for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Later, he became a trainer for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Joining the team would result in one of the most memorable moments of his life.

Etched forever in a trophy known in many households, Rambo’s name is carved with the rest of the 2004 Tampa Bay Lightning team on the side of the Stanley Cup.

“When you see your name on the cup in big, bold letters,” Rambo said, “it’s an amazing thing.”

Now, with the Lightning struggling after the Olympic break, Rambo is a thousand miles away from Tampa, as the head trainer for the Springfield Falcons, Tampa Bay’s minor league affiliate. Rambo said that while on the all-star break for the league, he got a nice surprise while in Tampa.

“Near the XO Club (in the St. Pete Times Forum) there is a big picture of (the cup),” Rambo said. “And when I first saw it I was like, ‘Holy smokes.’ It’s just unreal. I mean you don’t forget about it, but reality really hits you when you see it.”

Rambo admits since following the Stanley Cup year, everything has been a blur, from the lockout to celebrating a whole day with the cup, in which he did something a little different than most hockey players.

“My day (with the cup) was Sept. 7 (2004),” Rambo said. “That was the year of all the hurricanes (near Naples). I’m from there, so I took the cup to all the local bars and places and raised nearly $2,000 for the charities going to hurricane relief, the American Red Cross.”

While Rambo calls the time after the Lightning winning the Stanley Cup “a heck of a summer,” he also admits nothing can duplicate the time he spent with the team, taping up future all-stars and the league MVP.

He wants to return to the team he knows the best.

“I’d like to come back to Tampa Bay, but I don’t know if that will work about because their trainer down there in Tampa, Tommy Mulligan, is real good,” Rambo said. “But yeah, I would like to be on any NHL team or go back to Tampa.”