Birthdate: June 9, 1945
Birthplace: Lima, OH
High School: Lima (Ohio) Senior High School (1963)
College: Bowling Green State University (1967)
Year Inducted: 2023
The coaching excellence of Tom Rettig is easy to understand when you consider how dedicated he was to his craft and what a fervent student of the game he was throughout his lengthy and prosperous career.
After growing up in Lima and graduating from Bowling Green in 1967, Rettig quickly made his mark coaching high school athletics, including the baseball, football and tennis teams at various schools in the greater Dayton area – but basketball clearly emerged as his area of expertise.
He was the head coach of the boys teams at Holland Springfield High School (1972-76), Oregon Cardinal Stritch (1976-79) and then assistant coach at Tipp City Tippecanoe (1979-82) before finding a new niche as the girls coach at Tippecanoe, where he achieved major success during a 23-year (1982-2005) stay and also served for four years as athletic director. Under his tutelage, the girls program reached the state tournament two years in a row – advancing as state runner-up in 1986 and returning to the Final Four in 1987.
Rettig received numerous accolades during his 52-year coaching career including the OHSAA Sportsmanship Ethics and Integrity Award in 1998, the Paul Walker Award as Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association Outstanding Coach of the Year in 2005 and induction into the OHSBCA Hall of Fame in 2009. He was named to the Tippecanoe Hall of Fame in 2017.
Rettig’s hunger to ingest the game and improve as a coach was just as evident in the offseason, as he often was deeply involved in summer camps and coaching clinics all over the country. During that time, he combined forces with several accomplished college coaches including Darrell Hedric, Don Donoher, Bill Foster and even the legendary John Wooden.
Rettig was an adamant advocate for the girls game and often would say that his coaching tactics didn’t change at all when he shifted from coaching boys basketball. Overall, he compiled 418 wins as a varsity coach and also built a family legacy with his wife, Anne, his high school sweetheart. They have two daughters, four grandchildren, and one great-grandson named Tommy. Rettig enters the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame at age 78.