Joseph Castro, Jr.
Year Inducted: 1999
Joe Castro exemplified all that was good about collegiate hockey. For that reason, it is no wonder why Brown hockey will be missing something special when their 1999-2000 season kicks off. Joe retired in March, after the hockey team was eliminated from the ECAC Playoffs, ending his 34 years of service to Brown men’s ice hockey. He worked under seven different head coaches and stitched, taped, and bandaged hundreds of Bears icers through his time at Brown.
He first started his athletic-injury career while he was playing baseball in the service. When Joe first came to Brown, he wasn’t just the ice hockey trainer. He also served as the trainer to many Brown lacrosse and soccer teams in the 1960s and 70s. In addition to those duties, he would work a double on Saturdays in the fall, running to the football game to help head trainer Frank George after his soccer game had ended.
During his time at Brown, Joe was always determined to remain up to date in his care of Brown student-athletes. From his first ankle tape of a sprinter named John Robinson (now Dean Robinson) to the last hockey player he tended to, he always wanted to be state of the art. He did this by attending sixty hours of continuing education every three years right up to his retirement.
While his medical ability was unparalleled, he was much more than a trainer. Toward the end of his career, he started doubling as Brown’s men’s ice hockey equipment manager, skate sharpener, and team travel coordinator. While his on-ice duties were essential to the team’s success, his character may have been even more essential. His story-telling, known to all Brown icers, his unmatched good-natured personality, and his heartfelt concern for those around him made Joe Castro someone people always wanted around. For that reason, it was rare for Brown to go on the road and not have an ex-player make a special effort to stop by and say hi to Joe.
His efforts were finally recognized when he received the 199 Jim Fullerton Award (named in memory of Brown’s former hockey coach and Joe’s first mentor at Brown) presented by the American Hockey Coaches Association in recognition of distinguished service to the sport of collegiate hockey. No player, coach, or administrator ever gave more of their time to the sport than Joe did, and no one may ever in the future.
Joe is now retired and currently living in East Providence.