Thursday, October 10, 2019

Where Are They Now: Tom Tupa

Jim Gehman
Thursday, Oct 10, 2019 08:00 AM

A person gets one chance to make a first impression.

Tom Tupa’s first impression on head coach Bill Parcells was couldn’t have gone much better, and eventually – 11 seasons and four teams later – led the quarterback/punter to join the Jets as a free agent in 1999.

“Coming out of (Ohio State in 1988), I took a few visits before the Draft, and one was to the Giants. That’s when Parcells was there and we hit it off pretty well,” Tupa said. “I ended up getting drafted to, at the time, the Phoenix Cardinals. They were in the same division as the Giants, so I would see him a couple times a year and we’d always talk before games.

“As I moved through my career (as a quarterback for the Cardinals and then play almost exclusively as a punter with the other teams, I became a free agent in 1996). Parcells was at New England and he signed me. We went to the Super Bowl that first year, and then he ended up leaving and went to the Jets. 

“The following year when we played them, I was kind of giving him some crap about signing me and then leaving. He was laughing and said, ‘Well, maybe one of these days I’ll see you again.’ Sure enough, when I became a free agent from New England, I ended up signing back with him (and became a Jet).”

Much like with Parcells, Tupa made a good first impression with the Jets fans, when in his first game with the Green & White, the 1999 season opener against the Patriots, he was pressed into action at quarterback after Vinny Testaverde ruptured an Achilles tendon in the second quarter.

“A rule was in place back then where they could save a roster spot and add someone to it position-wise. So, I was always listed as the second (quarterback),” Tupa said. “When he went down, I didn’t realize I was going to be playing all that much. I thought I might go in for a few plays until they got the next guy ready, Rick Mirer.”

Although Tupa had taken snaps under center in practice running the scout team, he hadn’t attempted to throw a pass during a game in three years. Playing quarterback until Mirer was eligible to enter the game in the fourth quarter, Tupa completed 6 of 10 passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns.

“Yeah, I ended up going in and things went pretty well there for a while,” he said. “It was a little bit of a shock obviously; I’m not going to lie. But I think overall, it went pretty well.”

While that went “pretty well,” Tupa’s contribution as a punter went great. Averaging over 45 yards per punt, he was named first-team All-Pro and selected to play in the Pro Bowl.

“I had a year or two in New England where I thought I may have had a chance, but you come in second in the voting or whatnot. I just ended having a pretty good year. A lot goes into that, obviously,” Tupa said. “The long snapper, coverage teams, and all those sorts of things come into it. It was just one of those years where you kind of got on a hot streak and it just kept going game to game.”

With the Jets for three seasons, Tupa played for that many head coaches: Parcells, Al Groh and Herm Edwards. What are his fondest memories from those days?

“We had such a good group of guys there with Vinny (Testaverde) and Wayne (Chrebet), Curtis Martin, Kevin Mawae,” Tupa said. “Unfortunately, there were a couple bad instances. The worst one was we were there when 9/11 happened. That was one thing, our team going downtown and helping out with whatever we could.

“As far as playing, I think one of the most memorable moments was that ‘Monday Night Miracle’ game (in 2000) where we came all the way back against Miami. Basically, the whole stands had emptied out because it was such a deficit going into the fourth quarter, but we rallied back (by scoring 30 points and won in overtime, 40-37).”

As part of the NFL 100 celebration, Tupa was named to the Jets’ all-time team, which will be honored during a pregame ceremony when New York hosts the Dallas Cowboys on October 13.

“I think that’s special when the fans appreciate what you were able to do for the team,” Tupa said. “Coming from the fans, that’s pretty special. It’s a great honor. I’m glad that they acknowledged what I was able to do for the team and what the team did for me. I’m pretty proud of that.”

Tupa is also proud that he was able to play 17 seasons in the NFL from 1988-04; with the Jets, Cardinals, Colts, Browns, Patriots, Buccaneers and Redskins. 

Whomever said, ‘You can’t go home again’ wasn’t talking to Tupa. Because following his playing days, he and his family made their way back to his hometown of Brecksville, Ohio, where he has been the city’s director of recreation since 2006.

“I always wanted to coach the kids as they were coming up through the little leagues and high school,” Tupa said. “So, when I moved back here, the mayor asked if I wanted this job. I told him my first thing was that I wanted to be able to coach my kids. And he said, ‘No problem.’

“That kind of sealed the deal right there. I was able to coach the kids all the way through high school. Those moments are obviously something we’ll never forget.”

Tupa and his wife, Beth, have four children. Tom, who works in the San Francisco 49ers scouting department. Tim, who works in the Los Angeles Chargers scouting department. Tyler, a redshirt junior wide receiver at Ohio University. And Emma, a sophomore at Ohio University, who plays on the volleyball team.

Nearly $120,000 raised at the 7th Annual Team Jack Foundation Radiothon presented by The Home Agency on September 26.

October 9, 2019

Elwood, Neb. – On Thursday, September 26, 2019 nearly $120,000 was raised for child brain cancer research at the Team Jack Foundation’s 7th Annual State-wide Radiothon. The day-long event was presented by The Home Agency, based in Elwood, Nebraska, and was aired on over 25 stations throughout Nebraska and beyond.
The Radiothon is a special event broadcasting stories of families affected by child brain cancer as well as those of popular figures like Rex Burkhead, Coach Jovan Dewitt, Dick Vitale, Matt Davison, Dr. Don Coulter of the University of Nebraska Medical Center and many more. The objective of the Radiothon is to not only raise research funds for child brain cancer, but to also raise awareness for the disease and the need for research funding.
This year’s Radiothon was hosted by The Home Agency in Elwood, Nebraska, population 690. Leading up to the event and throughout the day, the community came together to support the cause. The pre-kindergarten class walked down their Pennies for a Purpose donation totaling over $272 and the Gothenburg Lady Swedes Volleyball Team stopped on their way to a game with a donation of over $400. A visit from the entire K-12 Elwood Public Schools and the community-wide bake sale were other highlights of the day. In addition to their presenting sponsorship, Jim & Sharri Baldonado supplied every student at Elwood Public Schools with a Team Jack Nebraska t-shirt.
“On behalf of The Home Agency, the village of Elwood and the Baldonado family, we would like to all say thank you for letting us host the 2019 Team Jack Radiothon here in Elwood. People are still talking about it and how much fun it was. We are already talking about what we can do different next year to make it even better, as we are hoping we can host again,” said Jim Baldonado, owner, The Home Agency.
With about 90 minutes left on the air, a caller pledged to give $10,000 if an additional $10,000 could be raised prior to the radiothon’s end. The radio host, Kevin Thomas and the Foundation put out a plea on the radio and online and the phones rang non-stop. The matching $10,000 in donations was raised bumping the day’s total to over $105,000 for child brain cancer research! In the week following the radiothon, donations have continued to be made bringing the overall event total to nearly $120,000.
The fantastic result of the 2019 campaign is thanks in large part to The Home Agency, the Jim & Sharri Baldonado Family, the Elwood community and surrounding area as well as the entire state of Nebraska. Since 2013, the annual Team Jack Foundation Radiothon has raised more than $530,000 for child brain cancer research.
About the Team Jack Foundation
The Team Jack Foundation’s mission is to raise research funds and awareness for pediatric brain cancer. Childhood brain cancer affects nearly 4,600 children each year and is the leading cancer cause of death in children. Each year less than four percent of U.S. federal funding is solely dedicated to childhood cancer research, with even less spent on child brain cancer research. The Team Jack Foundation has raised over $6.5 million for pediatric brain cancer research and has invested in eight research projects nationally. The Foundation is working with world renowned researchers, directly, to develop relevant and impactful research initiatives. For more about the Foundation and funded research, visit

Katie Smith headliner at OSU Alumni scholarship fundraiser

Katie Smith headliner at OSU Alumni scholarship fundraiser

MOUNT VERNON — OSU Knox County Alumni Club is holding its annual scholarship fundraiser on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at the Glenn A. Gallagher Center. Katie Smith is the Keynote Speaker along with live and silent auctions and a visit from “The Best Damn Band In the Land.”

Katie Smith (born June 4, 1974) is an American retired professional basketball player who played most recently in the WNBA. Her primary position was shooting guard, although she sometimes played small forward or point guard. She is the all-time leading scorer in women’s professional basketball, having notched over 7,000 points in both her ABL and WNBA career. In 2016, she was voted one of the WNBA’s “Top 20 at 20.” She was named head coach of the New York Liberty in October 2017. On March 31, 2018, Smith was named to the 2018 class of inductees for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

There will be a tailgate dinner at 6 p.m. Doors open at 4:30 for the silent auction.

Tickets are available through Oct. 12. Stop by Mohican Sports Medicine to reserve your tickets.

Popular Posts