Q&A with Tom NemoAfter being head coach at Tartan for eight years and, most recently, an assistant coach at softball juggernaut North St. Paul the past four years, Tom Nemo became head coach of the East Ridge softball team this spring.
By: Patrick Johnson, Staff Writer, South Washington County Bulletin
After being head coach at Tartan for eight years and, most recently, an assistant coach at softball juggernaut North St. Paul the past four years, Tom Nemo became head coach of the East Ridge softball team this spring.
Nemo has been coaching fastpitch softball for 20 years. He helped North St. Paul to the 2007 state championship title as well as back-to-back state runner-up finishes in 2009 and 2010. Prior to being the assistant coach at North St. Paul, Nemo compiled a 107-54 record at Tartan.
Last year, East Ridge finished 12-12 overall and defeated Woodbury 3-0 in the Section 4AA quarterfinals, before falling to section champion North St. Paul and Roseville to end the year. So far this year, East Ridge is 9-5 overall and 5-4 in the Suburban East Conference.
We sat down with the Raptors’ new leader to find out more about him on and off the field.
What’s your background in the sport you’re coaching?
I’ve been involved in fastpitch for 20 years. I actually got started coaching my daughter’s 12U team back in 1991 in the Tartan Area program.
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in St. Paul and have lived in Oakdale since 1983.
What is your high school alma mater?
I was in the first graduating class from Hill-Murray in 1972. I went to Hill High School before they merged with Archbishop Murray.
What’s your coaching philosophy?
My philosophy has always been geared towards teaching the players good fundamentals and mechanics. Make it fun and exciting and the players will play harder for you.
What specific coaches do you look up to?
I’ve learned a lot for Sean Hall (North St. Paul) and John Tschida from the University of St. Thomas.
What are your goals with the program?
My goal is to continue to improve as the season gets deeper. It’s not how you start, but how you finish.
What’s your favorite sports memory?
Winning the state tourney in my first year at North St. Paul.
What do you like to do off the field?
My wife and I spend time at our home in Englewood, Florida during the winter months.
What’s your favorite TV show and/or movie?
My favorite TV show is actually watching anything on ESPN. My favorite movies are “Remember the Titans” and “Rudy.” They’re two great movies about working hard and always striving to get better.
What are your favorite sports teams? (beside your own)
I’ve been a huge Twins fan since I can remember. But, I enjoy all sports.
Who’s your favorite athlete?
Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky
What advice do you have for young players?
Best advice I can give young players is to always give your best and try hard. Never stop improving at anything in life!