Alum Cashman returns to KSC as head athletic trainer at Regis College
KEENE, N.H. 3/1/12 – Devin Cashman was in a bit of a quandary as he watched the Keene State women’s basketball team take on Regis College in a first-round ECAC New England tournament game at Spaulding Gym on Wednesday night.
While Cashman is a proud alum of Keene State, class of 1996 and a four-year swimmer for the Owls, he’s also the head athletic trainer at Regis College. Joking before the game, Cashman told the Regis players “That they should still try to win even though he had mixed feelings inside.”
Even though his alma mater prevailed over the Pride 58-36, Cashman said he enjoyed his trip back to Keene State. “It’s always fun to come back,” he said. “I get to walk into the pool area and say hi to (Head Coach) Jack (Fabian) and reminisce about my days swimming for Keene State.”
Originally from Needham, Mass., Cashman kept busy at Keene State as an undergrad, not only swimming but also trying to fill the demanding requirements for his athletic training major. Until recently, he had the distinction of being the the Last of the Mohicans, the last student athlete that was allowed to compete on a KSC varsity team while being in the athletic training program. “I talked (program director) Dr. Sherry Bovinet into letting me do it,” he said. “She turned her head the other way and I just did it.”
Cashman excelled in the pool and in the classroom. A long distance swimmer for the Owls competing for then Coach Dave Mason, Cashman, a three-time New England championship qualifier, was one of several swimmers who began turning over school records on the massive board at the Spaulding Gym pool.
Bob Merrow, the long-time head athletic trainer at KSC, remembers Cashman being a very bright student. “I give Devin a lot of credit. It’s not easy doing our program and playing a sport,” Merrow said. “He’s had a great career as a professional and is no longer a student mentor but a peer which is great.”
Juggling both roles Cashman made sure not to cross the line. “Once I made that transition that was it. I went from athletic training to strictly athlete and nothing in between,” he said.
Cashman readily recalls his first assignment at Keene State, working with the men’s and women’s rugby teams. “It was trial by fire,” he said. “I remember being up at Dartmouth with kids breaking legs and getting concussions. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to stick with it after that.”
Cashman spent the following season working with the women’s volleyball team and finished up as a senior, serving as a student trainer for Coach Ron Butcher’s soccer team. “Working with the soccer team gave me a lot of confidence,” he said.
After graduating, Cashman got his master’s degree in exercise science at Northeastern and landed his first job at Boston College. While at Boston College, Cashman hooked up with Keene State grads Donna Bennett ’75 and Allison Foley ’92. Bennett, one of the first athletic trainers to come out of KSC, is the senior associate director of sports medicine at the College while Foley is the highly successful women’s soccer coach of the Eagles. Cashman had the opportunity to be the trainer for Foley’s first major run in the NCAA tournament in 1999 when they advanced to the Sweet-16. “She was an awesome player and even a better person,’ said Cashman about Foley who led the Eagles to the Final Four this past fall.
The three would often talk about their days at Keene State. Donna told me it was very different when she was at the College. She was on the softball team and Dr. Bovinet was her coach.
Cashman’s experience at the Heights included a couple of seasons working with the Eagles Division I football team. “It was different. I never worked football at that level,” Cashman said. “I wanted to quit my whole first preseason because it was something that I didn’t think I could do, but I was glad I stuck with it.”
A little weary of working at the Division I level, Cashman landed at Regis College, a small all-women’s Division III School in the spring of 2001. “They had never hired a man before for an all-women’s school, so they took a flyer on me, Cashman said. “Since I worked so long with a women’s soccer team at BC it was a pretty easy transition.”
Implementing many new ideas at Regis, Cashman would soon see his workload double when the College decided to go co-ed in 2008, expanding for eight women’s team to 18 combined men’s and women’s programs. Cashman consulted with many trainers who had added men’s team, including KSC grad, Melanie Adams ’93, the Coordinator of Sports Medicine at Hood College in Maryland.
After several trying seasons, Cashman says the teams at Regis College are starting to turn the corner and become more competitive. He’s also been impressed with the success of his alma mater’s athletic program, especially the swim teams. “It’s nice to see the program improve. When I was here it was one of the lower tier programs,” he said. “Seeing those KSC swim caps at the last year’s NCAA Championship was amazing. “I never thought I’d see that.”
Despite a busy schedule, Cashman still finds time to compete in triathlons. If that wasn’t enough, he and his wife Isabelle have an 18 month old son Ryan. “I don’t’ know how I find the time do everything,” he said. “I’m glad my wife is a very patient women.”