Thomas Drennan

Rhode Island does not produce many presidents of national organizations, but it has one in Thomas Drennan. The long-time URI coach built his program to be the best in the Northeast. His teams made 16 straight appearances in the NCAA Regionals. Drennan was named New England Coach of the Year nine times and Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year two times.

While he was coaching, he not only handled his own team, but he became one of the leading voices nationally for college golf. Drennan not only served on the board of the National Golf Coaches Association of America, but became President from 2003-05. This brought on work that included coaching the United States team in international competition. Drennan did so much for the organization that he was elected to its Hall of Fame in 2008.

Drennan’s work in golf completed a 50-year career as a coach. After graduating from Providence College he became a high school history teacher in Connecticut. That turned out to be brief. Five years after graduation, Drennan became the Athletic Director at Roger Williams where he also was the head basketball coach and golf coach. From there, he moved into the financial aid office at URI, where he also was able to coach girls’ basketball, a sport dear to him since he has four daughters. Among others, he got to coach his daughters.

He took over as the Rhody golf coach in 1989 and was asked by associate athletic director John Vanner to build up the program. Drennan put together a more difficult schedule and, with the help of the Adams family, organized The Adams Cup held at Newport Country Club and Newport National. It helped bring national programs to Rhode Island, programs that in turn invited the Rams to their events.