ROMEOVILLE, ILL. — The ASHL is mourning the passing of former ASHL League Manager, Tom Hawkins, who passed away on June 16th.
Known almost ubiquitously as “The Hawk”, Tom was a legendary figure in the Chicago hockey community, noted for his service, dedication, and above all, his passion for the game.
Tom spent the better part of 12 years working out of Romeoville, including nearly 10 years of service with Canlan Sports. Starting out as a Zamboni Driver, Tom would eventually transition into league management where he made his mark with both the Youth Hockey League (YHL), and of course, spearheading the growth of the ASHL into one of the premier hockey leagues in the State of Illinois.
A staple at the rink in Romeoville, Tom’s commitment to the game was felt as much as youth hockey as it was in the ASHL. Whether it was through coaching players in the Little Novice league, or coaching ASHL team reps through their first season in the league, Tom’s professionalism and commitment to the details is something that won’t be soon forgotten.
Another thing that couldn’t be forgotten? His nightly popcorn, with just the right amount of spice on it.
The Hawk’s time with the ASHL saw the league’s Romeoville location grow significantly in size while still maintaining the personal relationships and commitment to excellence it had at the onset. He’ll be remembered as stern, but fair, and someone who was always honest, objective, reliable, and personable with all of the players in the league.
In October of 2020, Tom hung up his skates for good and made his way into retirement.
While that retirement ended far too soon, the man with the Detroit Tigers hat and the tub of bubble gum on his desk will not be forgotten. To his family, his friends, and to those that came across him in the hockey community, his loss will be sorely missed.
“Remember kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered, but legends never die. Follow your heart kid, and you’ll never go wrong.”
– The Sandlot
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