When Tom started his senior year of high school, UNH was not even close to being on his radar. It was a series of fortunate coincidences that brought him to meet one of the UNH football coaches who was scouting a player from a nearby town. During the scouting trip the coach asked if there was anyone else in the area he should meet and was pointed in the direction of Tom’s small high school, to meet this talented kicker. Tom gave coach Stetson a highlight tape, which was the closest he could come to see Tom kick since he was injured and unable to play most of his senior year. The tape starts with Tom kicking a ball in his yard that soars over his house. This quickly captured the attention of the UNH coaching staff. To this day, they tell the story of watching his tape.
When Tom visited UNH with his parents he was quickly sold on the team, the campus and the location. After arriving, Tom promptly learned that breaking into a college team bearing the stigma of a kicker is not so easy. Tom had to prove himself to the other players by working just as hard as them at every practice. When the team saw his dedication they eventually accepted him as a teammate - not simply the guy whose leg can make or break a victory.
Tom really wanted to be a music major in college, since singing is his passion. When he realized it wasn’t possible to major in music and play football he came to the conclusion that his “legs would go before his voice would go”. This helped him decide to play football while he could, and look for another major that would capture his interest. During his sophomore year he decided to become a theatre major with a technical emphasis. He has been involved in many UNH productions doing set and light design. Even though he couldn’t major in music, he found other ways to keep music in his life. He joined Alabaster Blue, played the trombone in the symphonic band and sometimes sings the National Anthem at the UNH Hockey games.
Tom is “good” at being busy. He is also good at being different. He plays a unique position on the team, he is a devout Christian, he doesn’t party, he sings, loves to build things with his hands, and spends his spring breaks in New Orleans doing relief work. Being at UNH allowed Tom to find a way to make his faith his own. His community of friends is broad – it spans the football team, Christian Impact, his singing group and his major.
When it comes to personal growth, Tom credits coach “Mac” as someone who really challenged him both mentally and physically at UNH. He freely admits with a smile that he was completely intimidated by coach Mac for a long time. Looking back it was the pressure he underwent that changed him in positive ways in all parts of life. Tom knows how to work really hard, how to meet deadlines, handle pressure, and perform at his highest potential both on and off the field.
Tom has a personal philosophy that guides his life: he is not going to shut any doors until they are shut on him. He graduated in December ‘08 and is hoping to find an agent and get picked up by the NFL. He’s not worried about his future, because he is confident he will be doing something he loves and will be happy with whatever life brings his way. Do not mistake this philosophy as a cavalier approach to life. He is intentional, thoughtful, articulate and motivated. Whether it is singing, woodworking, community service or football – Tom will keep working hard and build diverse opportunities in life. Coupling his personality with his interests and his faith in God, he knows that he will be doing what he is meant to do in this world.