The Times West Virginian

Sports

January 10, 2013

FURFARI COLUMN: Dr. Nugent, at 91, still helping WVU football

MORGANTOWN — Dr. Robert Nugent, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected neurosurgeons, is still on West Virginia University’s medical staff for its football program.

He has been a team physician for 45 years and, at age 91, still travels with the Mountaineers for games on the road. You’ll find on the sideline at home games, too.

“I did miss one trip this past season to attend a medical conference,” said Dr. Nugent. “I also did not go to the bowl game.

“But I’m feeling pretty good, and I’m still working part-time,” he explained. “I work three days a week (at the WVU Medical Center and the School of Medicine).”

Dr. Nugent turns 92 in February. Despite some heart issues, he plans to continue helping the school’s football program.

“He’s absolutely amazing,” said John Spiker, long-time coordinator of athletic medical services. “Dr. Nugent has been doing a great job for the university a long time.”

He has been in Morgantown for a total of 52 years. No other doctor on the football medical staff has served nearly as long as Dr. Nugent.

He assists the Mountaineers with medical treatments that deal specifically with injuries and problems of the central nervous system and spine.

He is highly respected for his work in developing a treatment for trigeminal neuralgia, and his efforts have helped to treat thousands of patients from all over the United States.

Those benefiting were private patients – not only student-athletes. His popularity has grown immensely over the years.

The late Jim Carlen was in his next-to-last year as WVU head football coach when Dr. Nugent became a team physician here.

This professor of neurosurgery is a graduate of Kenyon College in 1950. He received his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1953. He completed his studies in neurosurgical training at Duke in 1958.

A native of Yonkers, N.Y., Dr. Nugent and his late wife, Virginia, had five children.

They are Dana, Robert Jr., Leslie, Barnes and Courtney.

Dr. Nugent intends to remain working on a part-time basis in academics as well as athletics as long as he can.

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