The sixty-ninth installment of Legends of the Game is from the “Legends of our Game” magazine from 1993, put together by the Committee of OLA Jr. “A” governors, as well as the Sarnia Journal Newspaper dated November 15, 2019.
Tom Wright the Player…
Tom Wright pirates business manager Don Mensch’s oversized Stetson, flings a lacrosse stick across his torso, opens wide his sound tract and procedes to yodel.
For a nonplussed instant, moistened bodies pause all around him. Then the Windsor Warlock dressing room rocks in mirth.
If lacrosse teams, like beauty pageants, were to conduct polls of such kind, his Warlock teammates would unquestionably pronounce Tom Wright Mr. Congeniality.
For Tom Wright is a character, a comedian and a card, a purveyor of homespun hokum and homilies.
Warlock teammates prod him, harass him and love him. For most of all Tom Wright is a team man and a nice guy.
Anyone who might care to trace the forlorn lacrosse history of Wright, prior to his communion with Warlocks, would quite probably embrace quite a different appreciation of him.He would probably deduce that Mr. Wright is an affable and lovable congenital loser.
That association can be readily made with any lacrosse player who has had the bad judgement to play 10 years with the Port Huron-Sarnia-Point Edward Beavers, boxla’s answer to the New York Mets.
But, while the Mets got well in a swell of glory in 1969, the Beavers never did. They perished once and for all in 1972, still losing.
When Warlocks ripped off a 13-game winning streak earlier this season, teammates chided Wright that 13 wins were more wins than he experienced in his entire 10 years with Beavers.
The funny thing is, they weren’t far wrong.The genesis of Wright’s career was 1963. At 16 he tried out for and made the Port Huron Beavers.”I used to go to all their games,” he says. “I can remember watching Don Allen (now a Warlock teammate) come in to play with those old Windsor senior teams.
“My brother-in-law gave me a stick and I used to fool around with it.
“So Wright went out for Beavers in 1963 and stuck.He helped the Quebec Caribou win a National Lacrosse League Championship in 1975.
Tom Wright the Executive…
The ExecutiveTom Wright began his first year in the role of general manager for the Detroit Turbos 1991 season. Tom’s lacrosse experience comes in the area of playing and coaching. He has played in two Ontario Championships and one Canadian Championship with the Ontario Lacrosse League Senior Series. He played for the Montreal Caribou in the National Lacrosse League winning the League’s Championship in 1975. In 1980, Tom left the playing ranks for coaching and was voted Coach of the Year in 1982 by the Ontario Lacrosse Association. In 1983 and 1984, Tom coached the Pt. Edward Pacers Jr. “B” Team to two consecutive Ontario and Canadian Championships. Tom began his professional career with the M.I.L.L. Detroit Turbos in 1989 as assistant coach, and continued in that capacity for 2 years. In 1991, he became General Manager of the Turbos, winning the M.I.L.L. World Championship and Manager of the Year Honours. He led the Detroit Turbos to Major Indoor Lacrosse League championships in 1989 and 1990.
He was inducted into the Sarnia-Lambton Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.
The Sarnia man who played and coached for more than 50 years died on Oct. 29, 2019, after impacting thousands in the sport to which he dedicated his life.
Wright was 73.
Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.
An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.
Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.
In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.
Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).
Gary also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.
Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.