Tom was born in Los Angeles and attended St. Francis High School in LaCanada, CA, Pasadena Community College, and Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff..
Tom played football in high school and at Pasadena City College, where actor Nick Nolte was one of his teammates. He then played at Arizona State and Northern Arizona Universities.
Tom was recruited to coach and teach in the Stockton Unified School District. His first coaching job was the sophomore team at Edison High School from 1966-68. In 1968-69 he coached the St. Mary’s High School varsity basketball team to an undefeated league record. In 1969 he became the Stagg High School basketball coach. His 1971-72 (28-0) and 1972-73 (25-0) teams won 53 consecutive games and earned two Sac-Joaquin Section titles. The 1971-72 team defeated Placer in the Section Finals. His 1972-73 team defeated Elk Grove with Bill Cartwright in the semi-finals and then Grace Davis in the finals. These teams left Tom with special memories. His two assistant coaches during the two-year streak were Bob Thomason and Robby DeWitt, who played for Dick Edwards at University of the Pacific. Both later were very successful coaches; Bob at Escalon HS, Turlock HS, Columbia JC, Stanislaus State, and University of the Pacific, and Robby at Tracy HS and San Joaquin Delta College.
Tom coached varsity basketball at Stagg from 1969-84. His 14-season record at Stagg High School was 279 wins and 116 losses, a 70.6% winning record. In 1974 Tom was selected as Coach of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches –District 8, which is made up from eight western states. He was also named as the California Coach of the Year in 1974.
From 1984-97 he coached the Modesto Junior College men’s team. His teams went to the California state playoffs in 13 of the 15 seasons he coached at Modesto JC. From 1992 to 1996 he was Vice President of the California Community College Basketball Coaches’ Association.
Tom retired from coaching in 1997 and from teaching at Modesto Jr. College in 2003. He and his wife Maureen have two children, Kimberly and Christopher, and four grandchildren.