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Beacon: Dr. Burger and His Part in the Xavier Family

For nearly 25 years, Dr. Robert Burger has been a critical part of Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. As one of its founders, Dr. Burger is proud of the work his organization does – especially through its relationships with amazing institutions like Xavier University.

Although not an XU alumnus himself, he has a long familial connection with the university and its athletic programs that continues today.  His father, Bob, while working full-time and raising a family, attended Xavier at night, graduating in 1960 as the first member of his family to earn a college degree.

That same work ethic was instilled in his family.  As the oldest of six children growing up Catholic in western Cincinnati, Dr. Burger graduated from LaSalle High School before attending the University of Notre Dame.  There, he was a member of the 1977 National Championship football team, an Academic All-American his senior year, and graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering.  He then enrolled in medical school at the University of Cincinnati, before completing an Orthopaedic Surgery Residency followed by a Sports Medicine Fellowship, before returning to Cincinnati in 1991.

Dr. Burger has served as Medical Director and team Orthopaedic Surgeon for Xavier athletes since 1999, dating back to when Skip Prosser was the head basketball coach, David West was an incoming freshman, and home basketball games were played at Cincinnati Gardens.  Dr. Henry Stiene has worked alongside Dr. Burger for the past 24 years, and their responsibilities include preseason physicals, weekly training room visits, game coverage for Xavier athletic events, as well as treatment of injured student-athletes.  Xavier, Beacon Orthopaedics, and TriHealth have formed a unique and enduring partnership that provides comprehensive care for Xavier athletes, and this partnership has grown to positively impact the university far beyond athletics alone.

As team physician at Xavier, Dr. Burger has seen life go full circle.  He and his wife Felicia, seemingly not that long ago, would cart their four young boys to participate in Xavier youth basketball camps, back when Sean Miller was a new assistant coach.  Years later, two of their sons, Chris and John, enrolled at Xavier, where they played college golf, and both are proud graduates.  Their other two sons, Bobby and Joe, played college football, Bobby at Notre Dame and Joe at Ohio State.  A generation later, Dr. Burger and Felicia now proudly bring their grandchildren with them to Xavier basketball games.

“To me, caring for Xavier athletes is not simply a job but a privilege,” states Dr. Burger.  “I have been most blessed to work alongside so many people at Xavier who are absolutely committed to the well-being of the student-athletes.  My years here are filled with many proud and fond memories, and Xavier has become an extension of family.  Serving as team physician at Xavier has been, quite simply, a labor of love.”

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