WOODRIDGE – Woodridge resident Tom Senne has always been into sports. Growing up, it was an outlet for him.
Now that he has two daughters, coaching youth sports has been a chance to spend more time with them, and do something he enjoys at the same time.
Seen was named the 2012 Coach of the Year by the Woodridge Park District last month, nominated by his players and the community for a recognition that he said is a big honor for him.
"It really is a nice honor for me," Senne said. "I have been doing this for quite awhile now, and I have seen other coaches who have won the same award. And it really is a bigger deal than I thought it would be."
The park district has been recognizing volunteer coaches in the community for the past few years through this program, meant to honor those who "do more than teach just the X's and O's of the game," according to a press release announcing the awards program.
The district accepted nominations from the community for several weeks. Five other coaches were nominated for the award this year, including Mike Krucek, Jim Vosicky, Sam Venouziou, Mike O’Shea and David Arrendondo.
Senne has been a coach for the Woodridge Park District youth basketball and girls softball programs since 2005. Most recently he was the head coach for the girls sixth- and eighth-grade basketball teams.
While he got into coaching to spend more time with his daughters, they have now aged out of their sports, but Senne has stuck with it.
"Seeing these kids practice something and then having it work for them in a game is really amazing," Senne said.
As he has gotten older, watching the kids he has coached go on to excel in high school athletics has been a big thrill for him.
"I think I get just as much out of it as they do," he said. "And it helps me feel younger."
For information on volunteer coaching opportunities with the Woodridge Park District, call the district at 630-353-3300.
About Tom SenneAge: 45 Residence: Woodridge since 1994Family: Married, two daughtersOccupation: Financial directorHobbies/activities: Sports, basketball, spending time with family.