Longtime Oakland trainer Tom Ford honored by former athletes

Posted at 6:49 PM, Dec 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-09 22:53:38-05

ROCHESTER, Mich. (WXYZ) -- Things haven’t always been clear for Tom Ford over the last eight months, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been in focus.

“It’s tough, it’s an uphill climb for him but Tom is a student of this thing, he studies it, figuring out, reads a lot, does a lot of research, he’s going to figure this thing out, if anybody does he will,” longtime friend Paul Diegel said.

Fords’ battle against ALS has certainly had it’s low points.

But on this day, it was a celebration for him, and his over 30 years of service for the thousands of student athletes he’s served over his time. Many of them came back, to honor him, today.

“It’s a tough thing to deal with but everyone loves Tom and we’re going to fight for him and every second counts,” Former women’s basketball player Deb Delie-Stephan said. 

“It broke our hearts because it couldn’t have happened to a nicer person, but it’s been wonderful to see all the people that have come out to support him, be there for his family and we’re with him all the way,” former women’s basketball assistant coach Shawn Clemons added. 

Ford was surprised left and right today with people he hadn’t seen in years, but it was a few gestures by men’s basketball coach Greg Kampe that really reminded him, that he is Oakland University, now and forever. 

“It’s great to see all these people out there, I had a great day, we’re still going to fight the fight until we get a cure,” Ford said.