LOMBARD – Tom Trefilek said he never coached for personal accolades, but his philosophy of wanting to help and teach people in any setting is part of what got him an accolade.
Trefilek was inducted into the Dominican University Hall of Fame in June. The Lombard resident and Glenbard District 87 Board of Education member coached women’s basketball from 1986-94 when the school was called Rosary College and again from 2000-02 when Dominican completed its transition from an NAIA institution to an active member of the NCAA Division III.
“It’s really an honor for the ladies that played for me because you put them together as far as a team is concerned, but they’re the ones that have to put it together on the court,” Trefilek said.
“You don’t go coaching and think you’re going to go in the Hall of Fame some day. It’s not something you think about.”
In his first tenure, which lasted six seasons and included four conference championships and three national tournament appearances, Trefilek helped develop a program that many people in the area had never heard of.
“No one really knew who the school was basically,” he said. “The first years we didn’t even have a gym so we played at junior colleges, Triton and places like that. It was finding people that had a dream to create a program and a tradition for the school.”
He won 189 games in eight seasons with the school and won Illinois Basketball Coaches Association NAIA Coach of the Year three times. Trefilek said he was able to use the school’s location to attract local talent who didn’t want to leave the area despite having the ability to play at bigger schools.
Now, Trefilek coaches in Glenbard East’s girls basketball feeder program, Junior Rams, and also spends time with the District 87 board. He was elected to the school board in 2007 and said he wanted to add his viewpoint to the district to help kids.
“I always was active with young people and I guess it was just a natural thing,” he said. “I have my own business, but I always want to stay active in coaching.”
He and his wife, Cherie, have three sons and a daughter. Trefilek works for Ortho-Med Services Inc., distributor of Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Products.