PROVO, Utah — No one in BYU athletics history repaired more bumps, bruises,

sprains, breaks or pulls than Marv Roberson. And some say no one has

ever done it better.

On Sunday, the legendary figure died from

complications of a monthlong battle with bacterial infection. He was

78.

"He was just a wonderful man and a

wonderful trainer, and we're surely going to miss him," BYU track coach

Mark Robison said.

Football trainer Kevin Morris is one of

many at BYU mourning Roberson's death. "It was a sad day when we learned

that we lost one of the true good guys."

Roberson began at BYU as a track athlete

in the late 1950s. Two decades later he returned to the university as

the athletic department's sole trainer — handling the duties for all

sports. Now each sport has its own trainer.

"What we're going to miss most is his

vast wealth of knowledge," Robison said. "He was just incredible in

diagnosis. If a kid had a problem, Marv could find out what it was and

then fix it."

He officially retired from BYU in 1989

after 23 years to open a private physical therapy practice, but he

continued to diagnose and treat Cougar athletes as recently as last

month. Roberson even treated some of his longtime clients and friends at

his Provo home.

"He was just old school, and that's what

people liked. He was the best I've ever been around," Robison said.

Roberson came from the last generation of

trainers who did most of their work hands on, without instruments,

machines and gadgets. He nursed athletes back to health with his hands,

arms and elbows. Athletes at BYU called him "Magic Fingers Marv" and

"Marvelous Marv."

"We all laugh when we hear those stories

about when Marv leaned on someone's quad or hamstring with his elbows

and about how bad that hurt. But everyone then says that even though it

hurt, they all got better," Morris said.

Robison's track athletes relied on

Roberson's skills often. "He did get the pain out, but sometimes it was

painful doing it."

Beyond his ties at BYU, Roberson was also

a well-known figure in athletic training and physical therapy around

the world. He traveled often to the Scandinavian countries to put on

clinics and teach techniques, which were used for decades on many of the

world's top Olympic athletes.

"He was very well respected not only

nationally, but internationally as well," Morris said.

Roberson is survived by his wife, Doris,

and their three children — Echo, Dina and Conrad. Services will be held

Friday at 11 a.m. at the Grandview South Stake Center at 1122 N. Grand

Ave.


E-mail: jimr@desnews.com