Published on November 30, 2021
In the world of colligate golf, there are few things that John A. Logan College Men’s Golf Coach Tom Ferris has not accomplished. Earlier this month, it was announced that Ferris would add to his long list of accomplishments when he is inducted into the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame, the highest honor a colligate golf coach can receive. Ferris joins Jim Ott of Illinois Wesleyan and Greg Sands of Texas Tech in the 2021 class. The trio will be inducted at the GCAA Hall of Fame Reception and Awards Dinner in Las Vegas on Monday, December 6.
Ferris took over the Men’s Golf Program in 2000 after starting the Women’s program in 1998. Ferris has taken the Men’s program to unprecedented heights highlighted by a pair of National Championships in 2009 and 2011. He has been named the Region 24 Coach of the Year 12 times, inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame in 2015, and coached two individual National Champions in Marcelo Rozo (2010) and Filip Timmerman (2011). His teams have also finished second in the National Tournament in 2004 and 2010 and third in 2012 and 2013.
For Ferris, the honor is humbling and one he attributes to his golfers.
“I was shocked when I got the call. “While I am so honored, I want to stress that this and all other honors are because of the tremendous golfers we have had here at JALC,” said Ferris. “There are not a lot of JUCO (community college) coaches in the Hall of Fame, and my induction is a result of a lot of talented golfers that I have had the pleasure to coach.”
Ferris believes that recruiting and building a family-like atmosphere and getting golfers to work hard and strive to get better every day are the keys to the long-term success of his program.
“We have a good atmosphere here, we care about our student-athletes, and we want them to get better and move on to the next level,” said Ferris. No one wants to win more than I do and hates to lose more than I do, and all I want is our players to play to their ability, play hard, and not quit. I believe that they understand what I mean when I stress that there is no other way to be good than to work hard.”
According to former players and Logan Hall of Famers Justin Fetcho and Brian Norman, Ferris’s ability to get his golfers to work hard on and off the course sets him apart.
“Coach Ferris is a first-class coach. He does an outstanding job of making his student-athletes better people both on and off the course while they are in his program,” said Fetcho, the current Assistant Golf Coach at Florida State University. “His passion and desire to get the most out of people and push them to become the best they can be is second to none. I will forever be grateful for my time with Coach Ferris, not only as a student-athlete but also during my time as a collegiate coach.”
Fetcho added that for all of Coach Ferris’s accomplishments, his two National titles stand out.
“To win a national championship in the coaching profession is a very difficult task, and Coach Ferris has been able to win not one but two titles during his tenure, which is truly remarkable.”
Norman, a two-time All-American and current club pro at Royal Oaks in Dallas, Texas, says that Ferris makes everyone feel like one of his own sons.
“He has always stepped up for me and been like a second dad,” said Norman. “He knew just how to push us to be our best not only while we were at Logan but also in our next landing spot as golfers.”
According to Norman, the system Ferris uses works and is key to the program’s longstanding success.
“When I came to college, I had high school experience, but I didn’t have the money to play in a lot of big summer tournaments to get experience. But coach Ferris has a program that develops golfers, and every bit of success I have had at Logan, SIU, and as a professional is directly attributed to that program.”
Tom Ferris plans to continue to work hard and add championships to the program he has built and loved for nearly a quarter of a century. Whether or not he adds more titles, one thing is for sure he will continue to make a difference in the lives of young men, and the game of golf and the world they go out into will be better off.