Throughout his life—including his 20-year career at the University of Rhode Island—Tom Drennan, M.A. ’80, has accumulated a lengthy list of titles: husband, father, grandfather, coach, and champion.
You can add one more title to his crowded résumé: Hall of Famer.
On Jan. 14, the long-time Rhody mentor was inducted into the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame (along with Jack Jensen of Guilford and Virginia Tech’s Jay Hardwick) in an awards ceremony held at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Fla.
“When I first got the call, we were not playing very well—struggling a bit. My cell phone buzzed, and I didn’t recognize the number, so I debated whether to take it or not,“ Drennan recalled. “It was Richard Sykes (head coach at N.C. State) and I thought it was GCAA business. He informed me that I was nominated and selected for this year’s Hall of Fame class. I thought my knees were going to buckle. Lo and behold, after the phone call, we started to play better.”
Indeed they did. The Rams picked up their play, capturing their 10th New England championship in the last 11 years.
“He is so well-liked by his players and his peers,” said Jim Salinetti, who starred for the Rams from 1996-2000. “When I play in tournaments and say I’m from the University of Rhode Island, players always ask about Coach Drennan.”
Under Drennan’s guidance, URI has served as the flagship for men’s intercollegiate golf in the Northeast. In addition to the string of New England championships, the Rams have a streak of 16 consecutive appearances at the NCAA Regionals, as well as five Atlantic 10 team titles. Drennan has been named Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year twice and Eaton Golf Pride New England Region Coach of the Year nine times (1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2007).