The Greater Houston Athletic Trainers' Society Student Athletic Trainer Workshop Poster Contest was names in memory of Westfield HS Athletic Trainer Robert Howard Pieper in 1992.
Robert started his Athletic Training career as a Student Athletic Trainer at McCullough HS in The Woodlands, TX. After HS he attended Texas Tech University as an Athletic Training student. After graduating, he became the Athletic Trainer at Livingston HS before moving on to Aldine and Westfield HS.
On November 8, 1991, the Westfield Mustangs had just won their final regular season game and were heading into the state playoffs. On his way home, Robert was struck by a drunk driver and passed away a few hours later.
Robert was a hard working individual who found great satisfaction helping the students entrusted to his care. Robert's selfless dedication to his students allowed him to achieve great things in his career. His positive attitude and infectious personality has been greatly missed by all who knew him.
His family is proud of his accomplishments and feels it is a great honor to have this contest in his memory. His family members have been in attendance to recognize the Poster Contest winners every year since 1992.
In 2014, the Greater Houston Athletic Trainers’ Society Student Athletic Trainer Workshop established a Quiz Bowl named in Mark Scott Salter’s memory.
Mark Scott Salter was born in Harlingen, Texas, on October 23, 1961. He is a graduate of La Feria High School. Mark attended and graduated from Southwest Texas State University in 1985, where he was a proud member of the Bobcat Athletic Training Program working with NCAA National Championship teams in Football and Tennis.
Mark was an athletic trainer at several Texas high schools including Consolidated HS in College Station, The Woodlands High School; and, he opened Klein Collins High School. He was a long time member and active participant in GHATS until he moved to the Austin area where he married the love of his life and fellow Athletic Trainer, Diania Opperhaul Salter. Mark served as the AT at Hendrickson High School in Pflugerville until losing a gallant 3 month battle with cancer on April 12, 2013.
Mark's lasting legacy was the impact made on the thousands of students he reached over a 29-year career, taking particular joy in seeing them grow into successful young adults. His friendship, smile and guidance are greatly missed by all who knew him; may his memory be eternal.
The Robert French Social recognizes a man who significantly advocated for and succored the GHATS organization. We remember Robert for his actions, his help to the Athletic community at large – as well as his love to play golf and socialize.
Robert French was a passionate and driven man of many talents. He was a devout Catholic, a family man, a writer, a military veteran, an entrepreneur, a medical sales representative and a successful insurance broker. Unbeknownst to many, Robert served in Naval Intelligence. He was captured at one point during Vietnam but later escaped. He never told his family much of that experience. But, he did reveal that he was later involved with POW recovery, especially finding the pilots who had been shot down. His interaction with GHATS occurred during his time spent as a local insurance broker. At the time, he was the top level Sponsor. He attended the Student Athletic Trainer Workshop and participated in the Golf Tournament. In 2008, the Golf Tournament was named after him. Eleven years later, The GHATS Executive Board changed the Robert French Golf Tournament into the Robert French Social. Many of us Athletic Trainers work in districts that supply “school insurance”. That insurance exists because of Robert French and his insurance group. Student insurance was already in existence.
However, Robert took those models and used them to create a primary student insurance network;Robert used to coach and thought the idea of having a separate network for athletes was important. He used his connections and charisma to grow the idea and built a low cost, high quality, balance-billing network. According to his children, Robert called doctors and hospitals and convinced them all to join a newly created network specifically designed with the injured athlete in mind. As that network passed conceptualization and started to grow, he would field calls from parents and refer them to specific doctors and help them troubleshoot all the relating costs. Robert also helped lobby for the development of the CHIP Program. Near the end of his life, Robert expounded upon his talent of writing poetry to his children and wrote one long poem about the Passion of the Christ. That book is still in print and is also available as an e-book.
Robert’s obituary summarizes his life as follows:
Owner of the successful Insurance Agency, Brazos Valley Insurance Group, Robert loved serving his community. His dedication as a Eucharistic minister, delivering communion to the sick and the elderly, led to his being chosen as a member of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem (KHS), one of the highest honors a layman can receive. His book The Paschal Mystery of Christ represents his deep and abiding belief in the power of faith. Robert has dedicated the book’s proceeds to the building fund for a Chapel of Faith in the Hilltop Lakes Community. Books can (still) be purchased on www.lulu.com.
He is survived by his beloved wife Sharon, children Michael French, Michelle Keathley, George Allen Adams, their spouses, Elise Morgan, Bryan Keathley, Lisa Adams, grandchildren Keilan and Ajaya Adams, Nicholas and Robert Keathley, sister Dr. Susan Ferguson, brother Tom French, his much loved in-laws Tom and Ruthie Lee, Peggy and David Hines, Melinda and Spencer Blair, Cindy and Louis Edelson, Tommy and Miriam Lee, a plethora of nieces, nephews, and friends.
Throughout his various careers and actions, Robert’s focus remained upon God. He was passionate about his faith and his ability to impact a person’s life. His children describe him as a social visionary who could strategize and solve problems long before they became problems. He loved his family. He loved his country. And, he loved to interact with people. And, just like Athletic Trainers, he met people where they were, as they were with the goal of getting them to the place they needed to reach.