Calnen reaches another milestone as Troy skipper with HOF induction

By: Mike Moore | Troy Times | Published April 13, 2011

 Tom Calnen, far right, is pictured with his wife, Jennifer, far left, and daughters Lauren, middle, and Julia, front, following the 2011 softball coaches 
Hall of Fame event.

Tom Calnen, far right, is pictured with his wife, Jennifer, far left, and daughters Lauren, middle, and Julia, front, following the 2011 softball coaches Hall of Fame event.

Photo provided by Jennifer Calnen

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TROY — Tom Calnen will never forget last July’s meeting with Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association.

And it has nothing to do with the fact it was his first serving as the association’s president.

“No, it’s because they asked me to leave the room,” Calnen said with a huge laugh last week. “I later learned why, which was pretty great.”

When Calnen removed himself from the meeting, fellow members of the MHSSCA cast their vote for something many had seen coming for a long time, that the Troy High skipper was worthy of Hall of Fame status.

On Feb. 4 at the Causeway Bay Hotel in East Lansing, his induction was official.

“It’s humbling,” Calnen said. “You never know how to take news like this. It’s one of those awards that has to be about yourself, but I’m of the belief that I have never thrown, hit or caught the ball in any game I’ve coached. Without the staff and the players I’ve had, this is never something I’d be able to experience. … I’ve done my best to make this about the coaches I’ve worked with and the kids I’ve coached.”

But it’s his name that was enshrined, and with good reason.

Since taking over the Troy program prior to the 1996 season, Calnen has consistently maintained one of the premier softball powers in the state.

In his 15 years with the Colts, he’s put together a 401-197 overall record. His teams have won seven league titles, eight district championships, seven regional crowns and have made three trips to the state semifinals, most recently in 2010.

His 400th career victory came in last season’s regional final.

“For your peers to deem you worthy of something like this, that’s what gets to me,” Calnen said. “That is incredible. I have such a great respect for the coaches that are part of this (Hall of Fame) group.”

Calnen admitted to being overwhelmed at the support he got at banquet, saying more than 80 family, friends and former players made the trip to East Lansing to be part of his induction.

At the same time, he hardly sees this recognition as the crowning moment of his career.

“It’s a fascinating and humbling award,” Calnen said. “But the way I look at it, it won’t define who I am yet or what I still have to do. My drive continues to be on winning that last game of every season. I’m going to keep learning and keep working until I can say I’ve done that.”


 

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