|Organization:||University of Northern Colorado|
Current ABCA Board Member Tom Petroff, the recipient of the 1975 ABCA/Wilson Lefty Gomez Award, is one of only two coaches to lead two schools to the College World Series - Rider in 1967 and Northern Colorado in 1974.
Petroff complied a 367-198-1 (.648) record while at the University of Northern Colrado. From 1970-85, he guided the Bears to six Conference championships and NCAA Div. I playoff appearances, including a 1974 berth into the College World Series.
As head coach at Rider from 1961-70, Petroff compiled a record of 155-84-3. His 1965 team went 20-2 and his 1967 team went 31-9 en route to the school's only trip to Omaha. Petroff's career collegiate head coaching record was 522-282-4 (.648).
After leaving Northern Colorado, Petroff served as an assistant coach at the University of Iowa and was the director of field operations for the Detroit Tigers.
Named the 1971 National Coach of the Year, Petroff has received many honors including induction into the ABCA Hall of Fame in 1986 and the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.
A well-known clinician, Petroff has conducted skills clinics in 40 states and in six foreign countries. He was the head coach for the Netherlands in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, and was invited to Holland several times to help develop the skills of the Dutch National Senior Baseball team. He also coache the U.S. Olympic team in 1984.
Also, while at Northern Colorado, Petroff developed an educational physical sensory program entitled "See and Feel" for the hearing impaired. His UNC players instituted the program at the UNC Lab School with the hearing impaired students. Petroff continued the program at the University of Iowa, where he was an assistant coach and co-director of the Deaf Baseball Development Program.
Petroff, the 1984 President of the ABCA, has also had numerous studies published and copyrighted, including the Detroit Tigers Professional Baseball Club's Player Manual. He currently serves on the ABCA's Hall of Fame Veterans Committee.
Named after the great Lefty Gomez, this annual award is presented to an individual who has distinguished himself among his peers and has contributed significantly to the game of baseball locally, nationally and internationally. The Lefty Gomez Award is sponsored by Wilson Sporting Goods.