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Longtime Heat trainer Ron Culp passes away

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Culp worked for Miami for 24 years.

Sporting News NBA Basketball Collection Photo by Rick Havner/Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images

Former longtime Miami Heat trainer Ron Culp, whom the Heat hired as an expansion team in 1988, passed away earlier this week. He worked with Miami until his retirement in 2008. He was 75 years old. His daughter announced the news in a Facebook post.

Throughout his 24 years with the Miami Heat, Culp was a fixture on the sidelines, sitting next to assistant coaches. When Heat players suffered injuries, Culp tended to them. Wade called him “Pops.”

The Heat retired Culp’s name in a banner in the newly renamed FTX Arena — close to the retired jerseys of players like Wade, Chris Bosh and Alonzo Mourning — and named the training room after him.

Three times throughout his career, the NBA named him the Trainer of the Year.

Miami has only had two trainers in the franchise’s entire history — Culp and current trainer Jay Sabol, who worked under Culp for 13 years before becoming the head trainer.