The La Salle community is mourning the loss of the legendary Tom Gola, ’55, who passed away on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014. I provided the following comments on Tom’s legacy to the media last night:
“It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing on Sunday of Tom Gola.
Tom was a Philadelphia icon whose name is synonymous with basketball. The National Basketball Hall of Famer earned his place in basketball history as a great player and coach. His legacy will live on at La Salle forever and in the University’s Tom Gola Arena.
A four-time college All-American and former National Player of the Year, Tom went on to play 11 seasons in the NBA. Following his college and NBA careers, Tom was head coach of the La Salle Explorers and coached what is considered by some to be the best team in Philadelphia Big 5 history.
He went on to a successful career of public service in the Pennsylvania State House representing Northeast Philadelphia and then became Philadelphia City Controller. In addition, he also served on many city and government committees.
Most importantly, Tom was a great man who, in true Lasallian spirit, did great things for the University and for others. La Salle University was very lucky to have him as part of our family.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Caroline, and his family. We wish him eternal peace.”
Brother Michael J. McGinniss, F.S.C.