Tom Sirotnak (Big Tommy) is the "Rudy" of the Trojan family. A walk on defensive noseguard in 1979, Big Tommy walked into the Trojan football office where he was greeted by Coach Marv Goux, “Who the hell are you? I have three All-American on the D-line and we just won the National Championship and you think your gonna walk-on to my Defensive line?”
Stuttering and nearly shaking in my shoes, I responded… “I, I, just want a chance Sir.”
Goux jumped up from behind his coach’s desk and grabbed me with both fists on the front of my shirt. Getting his face so close I could smell the coffee on his breath… “Well Sirotnak, come out to the field and you are going to learn how to hit or your going to die!”
As soon as Goux saw me that afternoon on the practice field… he grabbed my jersey and yanked me in the direction of a one on one drill. “Alright Sirotnak. This is ‘Big Man on Big Man’… get in their and don’t screw up!”
I got in my stance, sizing up who I would be facing. He was a giant! Nearly 6’6” and well over 290 pounds… It was future NFL Hall of Fame tackle, Keith Van Horn. I though, “My God, this guy is big enough to eat hay and dumb enough to enjoy it!” Glancing in the backfield I noticed the man I had to attempt to tackle… Future Heisman Trophy winner, Marcus Allen! Needless to say the drill wasn’t too pretty and I wound up in a pile of dust sweat and blood (broke my nose). Coach Goux is laughing from his belly, “Ha Ha Ha… Welcome to the big leagues!”
Bouncing to my feet I looked Coach Goux eye to eye and said, “Coach, you are going to have to kick me off the team or kill me… But I will not quit!” That was my first day… by my Senior year not only was I the first walk-on in 25 years to gain a spot on the D-line but I was also elected to be a team captain for one game against Washington State.
After finishing my senior year, I became the Team Chaplain for the next decade of Trojan football. I also became a motivational speaker throughout the NFL, MLB and the NBA. I was also a member of the Power Team (World class athletes performing unusual “Feats of Strength”) traveling the world speaking to young people through our illustrated assemblies, “Dream Makers vs Dream Breakers”
To this date I am still actively speaking in school, churches, business seminars and other service organizations. I have two books published by Broadman & Holman (Warriors & Ultimate Warriors) training young men to seize their destiny and purpose in life.