Park dedicated in honor of youth coach Tom Sullivan | PostIndependent.com

Park dedicated in honor of youth coach Tom Sullivan

Matthew Bennett
mabennett@postindependent.com
Tom Sullivan coached girl's soccer for 10 years and men's rugby for an additional seven to eight years.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Today, Glenwood Springs will honor longtime local youth coach and athlete Tom Sullivan.

Previously referred to just as Glenwood Park, a space that offers a soccer and rugby field, a basketball court and numerous other amenities will now hold the title of Sullivan Park.

The new Sullivan Park sign will be unveiled at 11:30 a.m. Saturday with the Defiance Rugby Club’s Second Annual Sullivan’s Showdown, followed shortly after with a friendly rugby match, other family friendly activities and food.

A standout football player during his high school years, Sullivan also played the hard-hitting sport for the Ohio State University Buckeyes.

In the 1980s, however, Sullivan’s passion for sports and love of Glenwood Springs drove him to begin coaching soccer in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Influential to say the least, Sullivan worked tirelessly to help create Glenwood Springs High School’s ladies’ soccer program. In fact, during the 1990s Sullivan even coached Glenwood’s premier women’s U-16 through U-18 Purple Pride soccer team. Recently, the admired local also coached the Defiance Rugby Club.

Known by many as “The Keeper,” Sullivan has devoted much of his time to not only coaching but also mentoring young men and women off the field. Many of who led the effort to have the park renamed in his honor to commemorate his years of dedicated service to the community.

“A lot of the lessons that he was teaching on the field is what carried over outside of the field,” said Ashley Moffat, one of Sullivan’s former players.

“We’re talking multiple classes, multiple generations of people graduating … dozens upon dozens of girls were able to take away qualities that they’ve carried on in their professions.”

Another one of Sullivan’s past players, Angie Anderson said, “He spent countless hours in the weight room and training to make them exceptional athletes and that commitment in and of itself I think speaks to the core of who Tom is.”

A little more than a year ago Sullivan was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. At Saturday’s event, donations will be collected for the Valley View Cancer Fund, which helps support local families with basic needs during cancer treatment. A “You Caring” site has also been set up for the Sullivan Family at http://www.youcaring.com/thesullivanfamily-805132.

Community members are encouraged and welcome to attend the event. The Keeper himself, Tom Sullivan, also plans to make an appearance.


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