Tribute to Mr. Thomas Hernandez


Sophia Li, Sports Editor

One of our Football Team’s assistant coaches, Mr. Thomas Hernandez, recently passed away. He was a valued member of the staff at Arcadia High School. Coaches and students on the football team called him Coach Tom. The counselors have set up a safe space for the players and students if they need a place to go to talk about their loss. Students and administrators alike share their sentiments in honor of Coach Tom. 

“Coach Tom and I met when he helped start up the Tri City Saints. He came on to coach at the high school shortly after. He had a great relationship with the kids he coached and really helped build up the program through those relationships. We had more numbers in the freshman class due to his work with the Saints and club trenches. Tom was quiet but was someone who could always be counted on. He was always there, showing up to every practice or offseason workout. He will be missed dearly by the entire Arcadia football family.” – Coach Policky

“He will be missed. He’s the reason we are on the football team in the first place. Coach Tom is the first person that actually gave us an opportunity and believed in us.” – Victoria Kenworthy, kicker on the varsity football team

“Coach Hernandez, A man with few words but his dedication to the program and the kids spoke volumes. He will be missed.” – Mr. Keith Kerney, Arcadia High School. Assistant Principal

“Coach Hernandez meant so much to the program. The coaching staff and players will miss his presence deeply. He will be remembered as the kind of person you can always count on who put one hundred percent effort into everything he did.” – Dr. Angela Dillman, Arcadia High School Principal. 

“Simplest things in life brought Tom joy!  He was a very polite, calm and patient human being especially when teaching basic skills at football practice.  We could always count on him, and his presence was noticeable.  His dedication was far and beyond what could have ever been expected of him. He was always present and gave his all to the program.  He devoted everyday to helping and mentoring the youth at Arcadia Football team. There are no words to express how grateful and blessed we are to have him in our lives.  Tom will be dearly missed.” – Mrs. Milica Protic

Tom was an alumni of Arcadia High School. Coach Tom enjoyed coaching and being a part of the Apache family. Coach Tom’s dedication and contribution to the football program and this community will be missed, but never forgotten.  As the football program prepares for the 2023 fall football season we will do so carrying the spirit of Coach Tom with us.” – Varsity Football Head Coach Antyone Sims

Coach Tom has inspired and touched the lives of those around him. He was down to earth, had an  infectious personality, and he was a dedicated leader in his community. His devotion to coaching and developing athletes to their fullest potential will always resonate with his fellow coaches, students, family members, and friends. Coach Tom will be missed, but his memory will live on in the lives that he has touched.


Photo courtesy of Antyone Sims