Special recognition is accorded to Thomas for his meritorious service to the University’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Their induction is the first for a husband and wife team.
Teresa was a multisport athlete in high school at Gridley, Kan., where she lettered in softball, volleyball, track and basketball. She was captain of the basketball team, was a drum majorette in the marching band, had a pitching record from eighth grade to her senior year of 100-10 and graduated as the class valedictorian. She was recruited to Baker in 1977 by Coach Emmalie Gessner Polen to play for the Wildcats, who began intercollegiate athletic competition for women the previous year.
During her Baker career she pitched the Wildcat softball team to a record of 75 wins and 29 losses with the team making state, regional and national playoffs in the AIAW. During her senior year she led the ‘Cats to a first-place finish in the regional tournament where she was named to the all-tournament team. The team finished ninth that year at the national tournament. Additionally, while at Baker she played intramural volleyball, slow-pitch softball, basketball and powder-puff football and was selected the off-campus candidate for homecoming queen.
Following Baker, Teresa earned a Master of Education in human biodynamics and gerontology from the University of Kansas and later developed “Young at Heart,” a senior adult exercise program that has received recognition from the State of Kansas. She has held numerous positions in industry and works with a federal agency, Federal Occupational Health, where she supports the work of 270 nursing centers and 40 fitness centers. She has been recognized for her work on a number of occasions.
Thomas was an all-League performer in football and basketball at Lansing (Kansas) High School. He was an honorable mention all-state selection in basketball his senior year.
He played and lettered in basketball from 1977 to 1981 at Baker as a defensive specialist and shot-blocker in a career that found him playing for four different head coaches. During his senior year, he was elected captain of the team. On campus he was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity, was a member of the Blue Key Honorary and was voted the Senior Greek Man of the Year.
Following graduation Tom joined his family’s business, the Young Sign Company, in Leavenworth and currently serves as its president. He continued to play and later coach competitive basketball where his teams have won 16 league championships since 1982. As an artist he has always enjoyed doing fine art and in that regard has been commissioned to illustrate all of the inductees of the Baker University Athletic Hall of Fame for their induction plaques since 1981. He has additionally been asked to produce portraits for various University plaques for the Jim Irick Tennis Courts, for Coach Emil Liston, Karl Spear and Charlie Richard.
Tom and Teresa were married in 1981. Together they have two sons, Clayton and Trevor. They continue to be active in their church, professional organizations and community where they have given thousands of hours to coaching youth league athletics in soccer, baseball and basketball.