Paul Thomas “Tom” Wright, 76, of Bowling Green, Ohio passed away Wednesday July 28, 2021. He was born October 28, 1944 in Greenville, Ohio to the late Paul K. and Ruth (Frank) Wright.
Tom attended Trotwood City Schools where he excelled as a Football and Track & Field athlete. In football he was a running back and defensive back. He earned first team all-S.W.B.L. in 1960 & 1961. As a track & field athlete he qualified for the state meet 3 consecutive years-in 1960 as a qualifier for 220 yard dash, in 1961 220 yard dash finishing 4th and in 1962 he placed 3rd in the 100 yard dash, 5th in the 440 yard dash and was 1st in the 220 yard dash- becoming the first Trotwood-Madison State Champion in Track & Field. His athletic abilities earned him a combined football and track & field scholarship to BGSU.
Tom was a 1966 graduate of Bowling Green State University where he was both a football and track & field athlete for the Falcons and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Health & Physical Education. Tom was a 3 time All-American in track & field for BGSU. In 1965 his relay team finished 5th in the outdoor NCAA Mile Relay at the University of California with a time of 3:12.4. In 1966 his relay finished 4th in the indoor mile relay at Cobo Hall in Detroit with a time of 3:17.4. In 1966 his finished 5th in the outdoor mile relay at Indiana University with a time of 3:08.6. He was always the leadoff leg of the race and in 1966 outdoor NCAA finals, Tom handed off the baton in first place.
In 1965 Tom received 1st place in the M.A.C. 4 X 100 relay as well as the 4 X 400 relay. In 1966 he earned 1st place in the M.A.C. 4 X 100 relay, 4 X 400 relay and he individually placed 1st in the 440 yard dash. His best BGSU time was 440 yards in 47.3 seconds.
From 1966-1967 Tom served as a graduate assistant under Coach Mel Brodt at BGSU while obtaining his Master’s Degree in Education. He later coached high school football and track in the greater Dayton area before obtaining his PHD in Health & Physical Education from The University of Utah in 1973. Following his graduation from the University of Utah, he moved to Chicago where he was named the first Track & Field Coach at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Here he coached two NCAA All-Americans, Wayne Saunders 3,000 SC National Champion and Darit Lindgren who got 4th in shot put. He remained at UIC until 1974 at which point he moved his family back to Bowling Green.
Upon his return to BG he served as assistant coach to Mel Brodt in 1974 and continued with the Men’s track and field team for over 34 years both as an assistant and head coach. BG had 9 student athletes win All American honors and he coached 18 overall MAC champions. Tom was inducted into the BSSU athletic Hall of Fame in 2002 and was also in the inaugural Hall of Fame class of Trotwood High school established in 2019.
Tom was the former president of the Bobcat Booster Club and spent many years coaching little league baseball.
He is survived by his children P.J. Wright of Barberton, Ohio, Todd Wright of Chicago, Illinois and Rylee Wright of Delaware, Ohio, brother Phil (Julie) Wright of Boston, Massachusetts, grandchildren Brian Parry, Daniel Wright and Peyton Oertel and great-grandsons Elijah and Brayden.
He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Joan (Wright) Shank.
Visitation will be held Thursday August 5, 2021 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Dunn Funeral Home, located in the Historical District of Bowling Green at 408 West Wooster St. His funeral service will be held on Friday August 6, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. at the funeral home. Interment will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery in Bowling Green.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given in his memory to The BGSU Falcon Club or The Maurer Family Cancer Center.
To share an online condolence or fond memory with the Wright family please visit www.dunnfuneralhome.com