Written by Carl Sabatini, Student Reporter for The Practical Times.
Tom O’Connor, who will be retiring from Davis College on October 31st, has left a legacy that will be forever remembered by those who remain. Coach O’Connor has been working for Davis College a total of twenty-two years; sixteen of which he has filled the position of Athletic Director. In the area of athletics, Coach has affected many lives. As a member of the soccer team, I have personally witnessed this great man in action. He never allows the players to settle for anything less than their best work while at the same time encouraging them to stay strong and carry on. Coach always tells us to keep our heads up when losing and to stay focused when winning. This mantra is not only helpful in the sports arena, but also wise words and a concept for life! Coach O’Connor made it clear that excellence was imperative in our lives, on and off the field, and he led by example.
Coach O’Connor has learned some things while working for Davis College as well (other than how to deal with stubborn athletes). When I asked what he has learned over all these years, he said “Life is a journey for all, young and old, and a life lived without the Holy Spirit is a life lived in turmoil.” Coach has seen many lives come and go from Davis, some following a good path and some living in turmoil, but he has affected each one in a positive way. In fact, the things he values most from his time here at Davis are the relationships he has made with the students and staff, which shows the depth of his care for people.
Coach also wanted to share a passage of scripture with the student body as a personal message. Psalm 34:17-18 says “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” This passage shows Coach O’Connor’s heart for people no matter where they are. He practices what he preaches. Along with the scripture, I asked him what message he would like to leave behind when he left. He paused for a moment then said “There is always hope, always a new beginning, never ever EVER give up.” Tom O’Connor is a great man and a great coach who will be sorely missed at Davis College. The legacy of Coach O’Connor will not leave when he leaves. It will live on in the lives of students and staff whom he has impacted through his intense desire to give God his best on and off the field.