Class of 2023

Elmhurst Coach/Contributor

Tom Rossiano was born on the south side of Chicago in 1953. He attended Perry Grammar School where he was introduced to wrestling in the 7th grade by Coach Nick Camera. His only competitions were the city tournament where he placed 3rd in 7th grade and 2nd in 8th grade.

Tom attended Thornridge High School from 1967-1971. He was coached there by Dick Russell. Tom was a fouryear varsity letter winner at Thornridge and was twice voted Most Valuable Wrestler. Tom was selected as Captain his Senior year. Tom was a two-time conference champion, two-time Rich East Rocket Invitational Champ, Regional champion, qualified for sectional twice. Tom placed 3rd in State freestyle and 4th in the IHSA State Championships in 1970 at 98 pounds. During his Junior and Senior years, he compiled a 52-7.

Tom attended Northern Illinois University from 1971-1975 where he wrestled under WCOA Hall of Fame Coach Don Flavin. He was a four-year Varsity starter for a team ranked as high as 9th in the nation in the NCAA Division 1. He was voted Team Captain his Senior year. While at NIU, Tom earned a BS in Education. Tom later went on to obtain his Masters Degree and earned an additional 90 hours in Science and Education.

In 1980, Tom started his coaching career at Thornwood High School as an assistant to IWCOA Hall of Fame Inductee Jarrett Hubbard. Tom was assigned to coach the freshmen. After Freshman practice, Tom would go up to the varsity room to work with the Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors.

In 1984, Tom accepted a Science position and the Head Coaching job at Mendel Catholic High School. Tom built the program to respectability. He finished there with a dual meet record of 41-9 had two State Qualifiers and one state Place Winner (5th). During his third and last year, Mendel finished 3rd in the Chicago Catholic Conference behind Mt Carmel and St Laurence.

Tom later went to Providence Catholic High School from 1987-1990 where he served as a Assistant Coach to IWCOA Hall of Fame Coach Tim Ruitteger (87-88), and IWCOA Hall of Fame Coach Mike Polz (88-89, 89-90). In three years at Providence Catholic, the Celtics compiled an 84-2 Dual Meet Record, had 26 state Qualifiers, 16 Individual State Placers and six State Champions. They were also two-time Team State Champions in 1988 and 1989 and were State Runner-ups in 1990.

In 1990 Tom accepted a teaching and coaching position at Waubonsie Valley High School. During his first year there, he was Assistant to another IWCOA Hall of Fame Coach, Fred Johnson. The next year he took over the Head Coaching reins. In Tom’s six years as Head Coach, the Warriors compiled a 129-20-3 Dual Meet record, had 30 individual State Qualifiers, 15 State Place Winners and 3 State Champions. The Team was also State Runner-up in 1993 and 1994 and placed 4th in 1997. Tom retired from coaching after the 1997 season to start a family.

Tom volunteered at York High School from 2000-2015 under IWCOA Hall of Fame Coach Terry Clarke. Tom continued teaching at Waubonsie Valley until 2017 when he retired. He took a job at Marist High School teaching and was an Assistant under Brendan Heffernan for three years. During his time there they had 11 State Qualifiers and 4 individual Place Winners. Tom retired for good in 2020.

• Career Dual Meet Record as Head Coach: 170-29-3
• Nominated for Head Coach of the Year by the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association 1993,
1994, and 1997
• Nominated for Assistant Coach of the Year by the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association
1989 and 1990
• Waubonsie Valley Hall of Fame Inductee
• Elected Secretary of the S.I.C.A. Conference Coaches' Association 1984
• Voted Assistant Coach of the Year by the S.I.C.A. Conference Coaches' Association 1983

Finally, Tom is honored and humbled to be voted into The Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Hall of Fame and to be included into this group of Coaches and Officials that have done so much for the sport of Wrestling in Illinois.