San Diego State Mourns Passing of Tom Ables

Tom Ables passed away Monday at the age of 91.
Oct. 17, 2017


San Diego State University and the San Diego State Athletic Department mourns the passing of Tom Ables, who passed away Monday in San Diego at the age of 91.

Ables attended 788 Aztec football games during his lifetime, including Saturday's home game against Boise State, and over 1,000 men's basketball games. Ables, who had seen every home football game played at what is now called SDCCU Stadium, enrolled at San Diego State in 1946 after a stint in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He later worked for the school newspaper and became SDSU's first sports information director.

"We're sad to see Tom Ables leave us," SDSU football head coach Rocky Long said. "It's pretty amazing. (He was) 91 years old. In 72 seasons he saw 788 games. We're sad to see him go, he might be one of the best fans their ever was, but for sure he was the best Aztec fan. We're going to miss him."

An honorary inductee in the sixth class of the Aztec Hall of Fame in 1993, Ables once attended 600 straight San Diego State football games. He was a witness to 16 of the program's 21 conference titles, including both of the Aztecs' back-to-back Mountain West championships the last two years. Of the 788 games Ables attended in person, SDSU was 438-332-18 (.567).

Ables wrote four editions of "Go Aztecs!" including the most recent version released in 2017 entitled "Go Aztecs! 4th Edition: A fan looks back at the first 783 games he saw, including the Championship 2016 season."

"We got used to having him around," Long added. "He was at almost every game up until the last year or so. He traveled with us, even on the road on the airplane. He was more like a coaching staff member than a fan. He's talked to the team two or three times. All the veterans and older players in the program knew who he was and I'm sure are going to be sad he won't be around anymore."

Ables ended up seeing 788 of the 794 Aztec football games played since 1946, or 99.2 percent of the possible games, and will go down as San Diego State's biggest fan.

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