Doc Spoon… CBR’s Secret to Survival

On February 18, Truman “Doc Spoon” is scheduled to be inducted into the 2017 Class of the Sul Ross State University Athletics Hall of Honor. Spoon, known to most on the Road to Cheyenne as “Doc” is one of those guys in the back that you don’t notice until you need him and when you need him he and his team are always there to save a leg, arm, knee, collarbone, and on occasion... your life. 

Truman is the founder and director of Rodeo Sports Medicine and the Director of Sports Medicine for Championship Bull Riding as well as the Outreach Coordinator for PhyTex Sports Medicine in Alpine. In his professional life, he has been affiliated as a member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association, and Texas High School Coaches Association. He is also a graduate of Cisco College, and Sul Ross State University.

Spoon has been the guy standing at the out gate and taking care of the bull riders on the Championship Bull Riding tour since 2005 when he was recommended to four time World Champion and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer Tuff Hedeman by sports medicine guru Dr. Tandy Freeman of Dallas, Texas. Doc and Hedeman were not strangers, besides both being alumni of Sul Ross University, Doc had treated Hedeman professionally in the sports medicine room on more than one occasion.

“You won’t meet a nicer guy than Doc Spoon… He’s vastly knowledgeable in his profession and will give you a call in between events just to chat and see how you are doing. He’s part of the reason a semi hurt man can still rodeo and provide for his family,” said CBR and NFR qualifier Cody Rostockyj who was under Doc Spoon’s care after being knocked out at the CBR World Finals at Cheyenne Frontier Days.

The riders on the CBR trail have all grown accustom to Spoon’s thoroughness and follow up when he knows they are injured and as one bull riding confessed, his attention to detail, including rebuilding standard braces to better fit the “needs” of a bull rider. But what those cowboys probably do not know about Doc Spoon is he is a pioneer in his field and along the way he managed to earn three college degrees including a bachelor degree in Botany and a Master’s in Education and Physical Education.

In addition to the 24 plus bull riders he tends to regularly on the Road to Cheyenne tour, the efforts of Truman Doc Spoon are far reaching. He founded his Davis Mountains Sports Medicine Clinic in 1986 to educate athletic trainers of all backgrounds and experience. He continues to share his wisdom thru his clinic and training responsibilities on the road.

“Wrapping ankles and wrists, massaging knots out of sore muscles, and evaluating injured contestants (and sometimes arena and CBR personnel) is the job, but the goal is to have the athletes leave healthier and with more money than they came with," Spoon says. On average, he says, the team will treat ten to fifteen people a night, but no two performances are alike.

“A rodeo athlete's life is precarious. You have to pay to enter the event, and you make money only if you are able to compete and win,” said Spoon.

Spoon has worked as an athletic trainer in the state of Texas for more than 40 years and was honored as the very first Athletic Trainer of the Year when the award was created by the Texas High School Coaches Association. His work at the time included many West Texas high schools including Andress, Monahans, Alpine, Montwood, and Fort Stockton. Truman also worked for Alert Services for 13 years. 

He attended the first meeting of SWATA in Waco in the summer of 1963 and was selected to the SWATA Hall of Fame in 1997.

The 2017 Class of the Sul Ross State University Athletics Hall of Honor is scheduled to be inducted during ceremonies on Saturday, February 18. A reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the Morgan University Center, upper level. The banquet and induction ceremony will follow in the Espino Conference Center.