Thomas Hoke – A Legend in Central New York
Thomas Hoke made a lasting impactful mark in the lives of countless students through his tireless teaching style and unparalleled commitment. For this feat he earned many prestigious awards and recognition.
Preston provided testimony that he never believed or suspected Hoke knew Stell prior to her murder on October 17; therefore, the district court committed an error in concluding otherwise.
Early Life and Education
Hoke served in the military and assisted in liberating Buchenwald concentration camp at the tail end of World War II, seeing piles of bones and skeletons, while some prisoners refused to approach his unit out of fear they would be shot dead. Hoke and his unit members provided dying prisoners with food, cigarettes, powdered drinks and chocolates so as to prolong their lives and ensure survival.
He was also an influential coach of modified boys track and basketball at Rome Catholic High School on Floyd Avenue for over 30 years, earning several prestigious accolades, such as New York State Football Coach of the Year in 1981.
He leaves behind a loving and cherished wife and children to mourn his passing and is at rest now with God.
Hoke spent his military service as a litter-bearer, collecting wounded soldiers off battlefields and transporting them to makeshift medical tents. For most of this war’s duration, however, Hoke kept silent about his experiences until recently when he began participating in events that seek to share details from this conflict with younger generations.
Hoke spent his career coaching Modified Boys Track (30 years), Modified Boys Basketball (20 years) and Varsity Girls Basketball (10 years). He was honored as 1990 New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Basketball Official of the Year; additionally, he refereed NYSPHSAA basketball finals both times!
At Rome Free Academy during his 27-year head football coaching tenure, he led teams that won 19 league championships and 8 Section III crowns, earning him both recognition from Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame and Rome Sports Hall of Fame.
Achievement and Honors
Tom Hoke was a legendary figure in Central New York. At Rome Free Academy, where he built a football program which won an incredible 210 games over 27 years and earned him the title “Coach of the Century”, his teams won 19 league championships and 8 Section III crowns under him; additionally he founded RFA Touchdown Club and served on Rome Sports Hall of Fame committees.
He served for 27 years as a high school basketball official, being honored as 1990 Official of the Year. Additionally, he refereed both NYS High School Basketball Finals in 1978 and 1986.
Tom Hoke was a passionate sports enthusiast who helped mold many young minds throughout his lifetime. He delighted in spending time with his loved ones – particularly his grandchildren – playing a game of football or basketball together while instilling the importance of fair play and good sportsmanship in them.
Hoke served in the 87th Infantry Division’s medical battalion during WWII and often found himself gathering wounded soldiers from battlegrounds to be brought back into makeshift medical tents, narrowly escaping being shot at by German troops while doing this work.
Hoke was married for 32 years to Lorraine Trophia and they shared four children together. His survivors include his wife Lorraine Trophia; son Thomas Hoke of Rome; three daughters Tina Jordan (Matt) of Syracuse, Carol Thomas Collins & Robby Collins of Covington GA as well as 10 cherished grandchildren.
Forbes estimates Hoke John R Iii’s net worth at approximately $116 Million, earned through his professional career as a Football Coach.
Former American football offensive lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League. Also, sports commentator on KDKA-TV’s Kick Pregame Show and Extra Point Postgame Show as well as CBS Radio (93.7 The Fan).
Tom owns Rivendale Farms, an organic vegetable and flower farm which specializes in growing. They sell their produce both locally and internationally, providing educational and cultural programs as well as being generous with most of what they produce for friends and neighbors.