A valued member of the Great Lake Canadians organization, Tom Arnold brings decades of experiences on and off the field to the fold, and is an important member of the coaching staff as well as assisting in the early development of many of the program’s current instructors.
Arnold grew up in Chateauguay, Quebec, and played in the little league system there from 1970 to 1976, and after playing a season of junior baseball for Valleyfield, Quebec in 1978, he moved to Chatham, Ontario, where he played for the Generals for two years. He signed with the St. Thomas Tomcats in 1981, and then the Kitchener Dodgers in 1982, playing Senior Intercounty Baseball (now the Intercounty Baseball League) from 1981 to 1993 with the St. Thomas Elgins, Kitchener Panthers and London Majors. His accolades include a Junior A Ontario Baseball Association championship in 1979 with the Chatham Generals, a Junior B OBA championship in 1982 with the Kitchener Dodgers, and a Senior Intercounty championship with the St. Thomas Elgins in 1984.
On the coaching side of the game, Arnold managed his first minor little league team in 1977 in Chateauguay, before managing a minor tyke team in Chatham in 1980, and managing the St. Thomas Elgins in 1990, 1992 and 1993. He managed within the St. Thomas Minor Baseball association at various levels from rookie ball to junior from 1994 to 2013, including acting as manager of the minor bantam London District Baseball Association team at the Ontario Summer Games in 2000. He coached with the London Badgers at the bantam and midget are groups from 2001 to 2004, and joined the coaching staff of the St. Thomas Tomcats in 2005. Arnold was the skipper of the bantam Badgers team in 2006, also taking them to the Ontario Summer Games. He coached the LDBA fall tournament team in 2006 and joined the Great Lake Canadians program in 2014, and has been a member of the staff ever since.
Beginning his connections to the current Great Lake organization early, the 15U staffer coached Adam Arnold from 1994 to 2004, led an Ontario Summer Games team in 2000 that included Adam Arnold, Brad McElroy, and Brock Kjeldgaard, and worked with Badger teams from 2001 to 2004 that also had all three players. the bantam Badgers team he coached in 2006 included Jon Fitzsimmons, and the LDBA fall team in 2006 included Ryan Zimmer, while the Chatham tyke team he was involved with in 1980 included Ryan Zimmer’s uncle Dan Moon.
Arnold has been coaching for over 30 years, at all age and talent levels, with winning teams and non-winning teams. His goal each year is just to have some impact on getting the most out of his players and their talent. He aims to teach players to be able to give their best effort every time they play or practice, and he hopes that the same ideals transition into their everyday lives.
He enjoys being a part of the GLC program because of its structure, and believes that having all of the coaches on the same page allows players to advance to the next level without changing that structure. Arnold believes program allows players to prepare themselves to play on their own, giving them added incentive to do the extra work it takes to be successful in both the sport and in life, making it easy for him to embrace working with the players day in and day out.