The Man We Called “Coach”


We gather today, to say our good-bye;

It’s ok to laugh, it’s ok to cry.

Friend and Mentor – Grandfather and Dad;

More than just a Coach, such an impact he had!


He told us “Don’t fuss”, whenever he goes;

Standing room only, I’m sure that he knows.

For all that he did, we do raise a toast;

But Tom had some quirks and those we must roast!


The Cards were his life, the Gophers his soul;

But Pat and the kids, their love made him whole.

Coach Tom paid the bills, Pat was the planner;

They always were current - they had that “police scanner!”


Tom played for Bierman, was teammates with Stoll;

Warmath and Grant, he was close to them all.

To Wacker and Holtz, pre-game talks he did send;

Of course – Sid Hartman – was his “very good friend!”


Fredlund and Champa, for years his main foes;

He never backed off, often went “nose to nose.”

Tom liked to win, no attempt he to hide;

But building good men was truly his pride!


He once told my team, “Stay off the beer”;

Now almost 60, I still drink in fear!

10 perfect plays to end each work out;

“Screw up – Start over,” he always would shout!


256-That’s games that he won;

When Tom left the game, he was number one.

Took 31 straight, four decades ago;

Through all of those games, just one pass did he throw!


Official, A.D, at the Dome held the sticks;

He never completely got out of the mix.

Once Pat departed, he was never the same;

Gone his life partner, his heart lost the game.


23 offspring, based on my last count;

Knowing the Mahoney’s, that number will mount!

It hurts to the core, it feels empty inside;

But soon he will be at your mother’s side.


He may not have told you or said it out loud;

But in each of you, was always so proud!

Tough on the outside, a softy down deep;

He taught you great lessons, no mountain too steep.


Just four months ago, with Tom the last time;

We had a great lunch – of course on my dime!

We talked some ball, he told me some stories;

It wasn’t his style, to bring up old glories.


When it was time, to finish that day;

Before we did part, I had something to say.

I told Tom I loved him- never said that before;

He nodded – and hugged me - and lingered no more.


So “Goodbye, dear friend and good luck up there”;

The courses are green - footballs in the air.

God’s blowing his whistle, announcing Tom’s approach;

Heaven’s doors swing open, for the man we called “Coach”.


~ Mike Daly