Tom Gunn Men's Golf Coach -- Head Coach Tom Gunn begins his 36th season at the helm of the Aquinas College men’s golf team.
Today, Gunn is an enthusiastic about coaching as he was when he first accepted the position.
A 1967 graduate of Aquinas College, Gunn completed his undergraduate degree in Business Administration. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Aquinas' golf team was known as "the Yankees of the North" for their outstanding regional performances. In 1963, Coach Dick McCormick led his squad of six underclassmen to national prominence against NCAA schools, blazing through a 19-5 regular season, defeating Notre Dame, Western Michigan University, Ferris State, Wayne State and all local competitors. The team also beat Central
Michigan on several occasions. In this championship year, all six members of the team had seasonal averages between 74 and 79. Beginning their season in the chill and damp of Michigan March, the team ended by earning a berth in the NCAA's invitation only
national tournament. Aquinas led the tournament going into the final day, but host team Southwest Missouri State, used to their home course and the steamy 100+ degree heat, pulled ahead to win by only eight strokes. Aquinas second-place national finish remains the highest team finish at a national sports competition in the College's sports history.
Gunn was a team captain for two of those seasons, and he fondly comments, “We were considered an underdog team and we used that to motivate us. We worked hard and had great team chemistry. It was such an honor for me and my teammates to be
inducted as a team into the Aquinas College Hall of Fame in 1963. Those memories will stay with me for a lifetime.”
Coach Gunn has been a member of the Highlands Golf Club for 50 years and was involved in several committees. He was the past green’s commissioner for 12 years.
Gunn is still active in playing and has competed in eight senior Grand Rapids Jaycees Charity Golf Classic events.
Some of Gunn’s highlights that he noted were coaching the first Russian player Nazar Massouh in the mid 1990’s. Also, the team won back to back WHAC championships in 2004-05.
Coach Gunn is still active hitting the links on weekends and at one time held the competitive course record at Highlands Golf Club, carding a 64. Gunn is married to Jerene and they have a son that lives in Chicago.