KINGSTON, R.I. -- The newest class of the University of Rhode Island Athletics Hall of Fame is set to be inducted today - Saturday, March 7.
Six former Rhode Island standouts - five student-athletes and a head coach – Mark Brockwell, Tom Cataldo, Kellie Cookus, Tom Drennan, Michael LaBarbera, and Stephanie Ulicny Domin - will be honored as part of the 2015 Hall of Fame class.
Leading up to the induction ceremony, GoRhody.com will feature each inductee in a brief Q&A highlighting their reaction to becoming a member of the Hall of Fame.
Tom Drennan - Golf
Tom Drennan served as the highly successful head golf coach at URI for 22 years. During his tenure, the Rams qualified for NCAA Regional Championship play for 16 straight years, from 1992-2007. In 2004, URI finished eighth in the East Regional and advanced to the NCAA Championship - the first team from the Northeast to do so since the regional format was adopted in 1988. Drennan, who was inducted into the Golf Coaches Association of American (GCAA) Hall of Fame in 2008, was a three-time Atlantic 10 and nine-time New England Coach of the Year. In addition to his golf duties, Drennan served as an assistant men’s basketball coach at URI from 1973-78 and was the head basketball coach and athletics director at Roger Williams from 1966-74. In total for his career, Drennan coached 50 years at the high school, junior college, and NCAA Division I level.
Q: What was your reaction when you received the official call to the Hall?
A: When Thorr called, I was hoping it was a good thing and I hadn’t done something bad. I was thrilled to get that call. There’s a particular self-satisfaction in working with young people and seeing them grow in so many ways.
Q: What is your best memory from your time at URI?
A: Of course, qualifying for the national championship stands out. To be the only Northeast team that’s ever done it, and to have no one do it sinse, that’s probably the singular triumph that stands out. The overall answer is getting the opportunity to work with young people and watch them develop.
Q: What are you looking forward to most, in regards to the ceremony?
A: I’m looking forward to seeing former players and their families. It’s going to be a wonderful experience. My whole extended family will be there as well, so I have to make sure I don’t mess up.
Q: What has your life/career/etc. been like since you left URI?
A: Actually, my son in law became a local high school coach and I got involved with that and it’s been fantastic. Moving from working with older kids to younger kids has been a great experience. And of course, being down at URI and working with the basketball team has been great, but it’s been even better since Danny has come in and shaken things up.
Q: Any final thoughts?
A: I really am looking forward to the ceremony, I think that it’s something I’ll remember the rest of my life. As a kid, I had always dreamt of being a teacher and coach, and after tomorrow, I will be so proud that I chose that path.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony brunch will be held on Saturday, March 7 at Quidnessett Country Club in North Kingstown, R.I. Later this afternoon, the Hall of Fame class will be honored at halftime of the men's basketball game versus Saint Joseph’s.