Tom Byron, Jr.

Tom Byron, Jr., Hall of Fame Coach

Tom Byron’s first college job was coaching soccer, basketball, and baseball. It didn’t get any easier. He came to Westmont College in 1965 as Basketball Coach and Athletic Director, and within a short period of time added a third major responsibility, that of Dean of Students.

When you peer into the personal background of this man you immediately focus upon keywords.

Ron Mulder, present Athletic Director at Westmont says: “Tom was a great leader, he got the most out of people. He was also a spiritual leader on campus and in the community. Although small in stature he was competitive and fiery- very determined. Tom was also instrumental in the planning of our athletic buildings and Murchison Gymnasium. Tom Byron was just a super person.”

Byron won highest athletic and academic honors in football and baseball at Wheaton College where he majored in Philosophy and Theology. He also earned his Master’s Degree at Temple University and was a USC Doctoral Candidate.

But the only thing he was unable to tackle, throw out, or trap was the melanoma that benched him during the ’71-’72 season. He was 10- 1 when the illness forced him to step aside. He died in February of 1972.

The spirit of Tom Byron lives in our community and in the hearts of his family, wife, Dorothy Byron Hanna; USMC Reserve Major, Tom Jr., and high school biology teacher, Annie.

And in the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Hall of Fame.