March 16, 2020 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College is mourning the March 10 passing of legendary baseball coach Tom Hofmann, who led his teams to almost 700 wins and five national tournament appearances.
Hofmann was an all-star baseball player at Aquinas College before becoming coach at what was then Grand Rapids Junior College in 1966.
Current GRCC baseball coach Mike Eddington played two seasons under Hofmann and was part of the team that placed sixth in the Junior College World Series.
“‘Hof’ will never be forgotten,” Eddington said. “He was very well-respected, also a great man and leader.”
Hofmann served as assistant coach of the 1984 U.S. Olympic baseball team. He coached at GRCC until 1990. He was inducted into the Community College Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1988 and into the Aquinas College Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame in 2006. GRCC hosts an annual golf outing named for Hofmann, with proceeds benefiting the baseball program and student-athletes, and a scholarship was established in his name during the 2018-2019 academic year.
Baseball wasn’t the only sport to get Hofmann’s attention: He spent 30 years officiating at high school basketball and football games, and 20 years officiating Big Ten football -- including appearances at the 1989 Rose Bowl and 1995 Orange Bowl.
In addition to coaching, Hofmann also taught in the Wellness Department and served as president of the college’s Faculty Association for 21 years.
A celebration of Hofmann’s life will be held this summer.
Grand Rapids Community College offers learners of all ages opportunities to gain credits for degrees or transfer and in-demand career skills leading to rewarding careers. GRCC was established in 1914 – Michigan’s first community college -- and offers affordable classes on weekdays, evenings, Saturdays and online at locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.