Tom Ford Steps Down

Oakland University’s Tom Ford recently announced that he will be stepping down from his duties as Associate Athletic Trainer. On Saturday, May 13, Ford told the public he is stepping down due to being diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Ford has been with OU since 1988 and is widely known and loved by many on campus. He has worked primarily with men’s basketball, women’s soccer and the men’s and women’s golf teams.

During his time at Oakland, Ford was honored with the title of 2012 Michigan Athletic Trainer’s Distinguished Athletic Trainer for his efforts.

Since Ford’s work at OU was done primarily with the men’s basketball team, he has developed lasting relationships with the team and coach. Men’s basketball coach Greg Kampe spoke very highly of Ford in an interview with Oakland University Athletics, calling Ford “a legend among the student athletes,” and also stated that he “is indebted to Ford for his service and will always be there for him.”

Kampe posted on his Twitter as well, saying, “Dec. 9 is Tom Ford Day at the O’Rena.” He asked for alumni and others to sell out the O’Rena so as many as possible can celebrate Ford’s legacy.

There has been an outpour of public support on social media. Many athletes and alumni have been sending Ford encouraging tweets, and well wishes. Many will miss seeing him around campus.

But, he plans to fight the ALS with all he has.

“I’m not going anywhere and I plan on battling this difficult disease with every challenge it gives me,” Ford said in an interview with Athletics.

The news of the illness was a complete shock to Ford and his family, but they are not letting it get their spirits down. Ford and his family will continue to live in Rochester and he plans to volunteer with the ALS Association.

“He is always welcome within these walls and we owe him and his family a debt of gratitude.” Athletics Director Jeff Konya told Athletics.