By Harry Minium
Thomas DeMarco was Previous Dominion College’s first quarterback. He is the man who threw ODU’s first landing move, led the Monarchs to a 9-2 report of their first season in 2009 and was a significant participant in serving to the College create probably the most profitable startup program in NCAA historical past.
So, it’s becoming that he’s the primary soccer participant to might be inducted into the ODU Sports activities Corridor of Fame.
DeMarco is a part of ODU’s largest Corridor of Fame class ever. The induction ceremony is scheduled Saturday morning within the Precedence Membership at S.B. Ballard Stadium. The occasion is offered out.
He might be joined by Kent Bazemore, the previous ODU basketball star now taking part in with the Los Angeles Lakers; Olympians Stephanie Roble (crusing) and Arni Arnason (males’s swimming), Jim McGovern (males’s golf), Mark Zagol (crusing) and former sports activities info director Carol Hudson.
DeMarco stated he was surprised, and stays in shock, from the telephone name he acquired saying he had been voted into the Corridor of Fame.
“That is one thing I would by no means actually considered,” he stated. “My household and mates have made an even bigger deal out of it than I’ve.
“Nevertheless it’s fairly particular. I’ve gotten a flood of textual content messages, emails and telephone calls.”
A local of Pasadena, California, DeMarco was recruited to ODU out of the Faculty of the Deseret, a California junior school, the place he was an excellent quarterback and punter. At first, then-offensive coordinator Brian Scott recruited him as a punter and provided him solely a partial scholarship.
“I bear in mind my coach telling coach Scott that ‘he is a fairly good quarterback,’ and Bro’s response was ‘we’re good,'” DeMarco stated.
However Scott took a video of DeMarco taking part in quarterback again to Norfolk and shortly referred to as again with a full scholarship supply.
Second solely to Coach Bobby Wilder, DeMarco was the face of this system in these first two seasons, when ODU performed a schedule composed of Division II and FCS colleges. He handed for five,732 profession yards and rushed for 1,456 yards and 30 touchdowns. ODU was 21-6 in video games DeMarco began.
ODU made an announcement in 2010 in dropping to William & Mary, 21-17, in a hard-hitting sport wherein the Monarchs signaled they had been prepared for high-caliber FCS competitors.
He was injured in ODU’s fifth sport in 2011, the Monarchs’ first within the CAA, when a UMass participant rolled over his ankle. A freshman named Taylor Heinicke got here off the bench to switch him, and he would set faculty passing data that doubtless won’t ever be damaged and is quarterback for the Washington Soccer Group.
Heinicke and DeMarco stay good mates.
DeMarco stated he and his teammates had been mesmerized by the sellout crowd at ODU’s first sport, a 36-21 victory over Division II Chowan College.
“All of us knew what it was wish to play in entrance of mother and pop and 1,000 folks,” he stated. “We ran the no-huddle offense, and we virtually obtained a delay of sport as a result of our middle, Jeremy Hensley, was watching the gang do the wave.
“We had been all doing the identical factor. That is what we needed after we got here to ODU. For us to listen to 20,000 who needed to be there, to see 1000’s of individuals tailgating, it was every part we might ever ask for as a result of folks had been engaged.”
DeMarco’s ankle by no means actually healed his senior yr, however he put collectively a fairly stable profession within the Canadian Soccer League, taking part in from 2012 by means of 2016 in British Columbia, Ottawa and Edmonton. He threw for 1,325 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2013 for the BC Lions.
DeMarco then got here again to ODU in 2017 as a fundraiser and helped the Previous Dominion Athletic Basis increase cash for key initiatives, together with the Precedence Membership. He lives in Vancouver, Washington along with his spouse, Julie, and two-year-old daughter, Ava.
He’s a monetary adviser for Edward Jones Monetary Companies and credit his time at ODU, particularly his time on the soccer workforce, for his skilled success. DeMarco earned his MBA whereas taking part in at ODU and took sufficient accounting programs whereas working for ODAF to sit down for the accounting examination.
As soon as, throughout a job interview, he was requested if he might memorize 5 templates to current to potential shoppers. He responded that he needed to memorize greater than 100 performs as a quarterback.
He stated his induction is a tribute to everybody related to ODU’s soccer program in 2009.
“It was a mix of the administration, teaching workers and gamers,” he stated. “That is extra than simply about sports activities. Soccer made me a greater individual. I hope that is what might be celebrated.”
Bazemore cannot attend due to his obligations to the Lakers. Bazemore’s household is predicted to attend, as are the opposite six inductees and their households.
Bazemore was the two-time Colonial Athletic Affiliation Defensive Participant of the 12 months who’s coming into his tenth NBA season
Arnason was a two-time Olympian, representing Iceland in 2008 and 2012, and a two-time NCAA qualifier at ODU.
Roble competed for the USA within the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and was a three-time All-American at ODU.
McGovern completed third within the 1987 and 1988 Solar Belt championships and was the 1987 Virginia Intercollegiate state champion. As a PGA professional he gained the 1993 Houston Open.
Zagol was an All-American in 1998 and 1999 and was a finalist for nationwide sailor of the yr in 1999.
Hudson was a pupil supervisor on ODU’s 1975 Division II nationwide championship males’s basketball workforce and served ODU almost 4 a long time as a sports activities info intern, sports activities info director and assistant athletic director for communications.
Hudson Blue, the powder blue coloration generally worn by ODU athletic groups, is called for him.