TOM O'ROURKE
TOM O'ROURKE

South Lewis Falcons, Adirondack

 

Tom O'Rourke was raised in Boonville and Constableville NY and graduated from South Lewis Central School with the class of 1983. While at South Lewis, Tom lettered in football, wrestling and track and developed a love of athletics from working with several fine coaches including Dave McCauley and Kevin Aubel. While attending SUNY Cortland, he started his coaching career with the Cortland City School District.

Upon returning home, O'Rourke joined the football and wrestling staffs at his alma mater and eventually served as Jr. High wrestling coach on the staff of HOF member Mike Millich at Adirondack. He returned to South Lewis to help Sam Moore with the rebuilding of the Falcon wrestling program, eventually taking over in the fall of 1994.His eight-year stint at the helm saw the Falcons compete during one of the powerful Frontier Leagues best eras. O'Rourkes' teams posted a 112-30-3 record, won the FL Tournament, two B Division titles, 2 Class C/C-1 titles and go on a five-year unbeaten streak in their "old" gym. The team qualified for seven-straight Section Three Duals, (reaching the semis three years in a row), and finished third in the Sectionals. O'Rourkes teams won twenty tournament titles across NYS. The Falcons ended the season ranked in the NYSSWA Poll six times, twice at #4 and twice at #2 and never posted a losing season.O'Rourkes' teams were fortunate in their success against some of the most powerful mat-squads in NYS.Tom served as the Frontier League B Division rep on the Section Three commitee for five years.

O'Rourke coached eighteen sectional placewinners and had three boys account for five Section Three titles and three state places. He coached nine 100-match winners.

In 2003, Tom returned to Adirondack where his sons were starting to come thru the program and brought the Falcons cross-face series to the Wildcats,under Coach Joe Galligan. Over the next fourteen years, the Wildcats would become one of NY States strongest small-school programs, crowning three State Champs, winning the Section Three Duals and the NYS Division Two Tournament. He stepped down at the conclusion of the 2016-17 season.

Coach O'Rourke credits his wife of 29 years, Edie with being the most supportive and strongest influence of his life and is proudest of his sons Matt, Kevin and Ryan and grateful to wrestling for all it has done for him and his family. He thanks all of the young men and their families and fellow coaches who allowed him to share in their lives.