This story originally appeared in the April issue of Hail Varsity. Make sure you don’t miss an issue of Hail Varsity by subscribing today.
“It’s the little things we do that make the biggest difference.”
Tom Gorman was a husband and a father. He was a son, a brother, an educator and a friend. He was Mr. Mid-Plains and a Nebraska Cornhuskers fan. Where Gorman went, a trail of smiles followed. That was the case during his time at Saint Patrick’s High School in Sidney, Nebraska, just as it was during his time at Chadron State College (where he earned two bachelor’s degrees). It was also the case at Kearney State where he earned his master’s degree, and at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he earned doctoral hours.
Gorman was a lifelong learner. That turned into a life of education, which was on display during the five years he taught and coached at Minden High School and during his 41-year career at Mid-Plains Community College. Gorman paved the way in North Platte, Nebraska, celebrating the community and dedicating his life to it. That passion turned into much-deserved awards and accolades, like Educator of the Year from the North Platte Chamber of Commerce, Administrator of the Year from the Nebraska Community College System, Outstanding Adult Educator for Nebraska, Advocate of the Year Award from the Small Business Administration, the History Maker Award from the Learning Resources Network, an Admiral in the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska and the Cody Scout Award. You know, just to name a few.
Gorman’s influence reached further than the accolades show though. He was the friendly face at Memorial Stadium, making those sitting near him laugh and enjoy the moment just a little more. He was a bright light at the Pinnacle Bank Championship in Omaha, Nebraska, following his granddaughter from hole to hole as she collected loose balls and autographs. He was a rock in the lives of his wife Lynda, his sons Patrick, Michael and Christopher, as well as his grandchildren.
Ask his children and they’ll tell you their father was full of joy, something he hoped would translate into a greater experience for everyone he met. He loved Nebraska—and believed there was no place like it (yes, just like the Huskers’ fight song)—and found camaraderie easily with those he met.
It’s why Gorman loved being part of the Best of America “School is Cool” Jam. In fact, he was more than just part of the event that helped youth in Nebraska meet and listen to academic and sports legends. He directed and hosted the event. And helping individuals—like those at the “School is Cool” Jam—was what drove him every day of his life.
Gorman passed away on Sunday, April 7, 2019 at the age of 76. His loss is a significant one for the community, for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, for his family and friends. He was a supporter of Hail Varsity and his constant encouragement will be greatly missed.
Because Tom Gorman was a lot of things. Most of all, he was a difference maker.
Editor’s note: Hail Varsity retired the Hail to the Fan feature in 2017. It is returning for one issue only, in honor of Tom Gorman, Mr. Hail Varsity.
Erin is the Deputy Editor and Digital Marketing Strategist for Hail Varsity. She has covered Nebraska athletics since 2012, which has included stops at Bleacher Report, Cox Media Group’s Land of 10, and even Hail Varsity (previously from 2012-2017). She has also been featured on the Big Ten Network, NET’s Big Red Wrap-Up, and a varsity of radio shows nationwide. When not covering the Huskers, Erin is probably at Chipotle.