By Matt Cohen
Photo via The Washington Post
Experience is everything, and that’s exactly what Sherwood is getting with its new head boys basketball coach, Tom Sheahin.
Sheahin played his high school basketball at Seneca Valley, before playing at Montgomery College for two years. His playing experience is one Sheahin values immensely. “I wouldn’t have my undergrad or grad degree without basketball,” Sheahin said.
It was his playing experience that helped Sheahin find what he wanted to do. “That’s when I knew I wanted to get into coaching,” Sheahin said.
Sheahin’s coaching experience dates back to 1991, where he was the head coach for the Montgomery College Germantown. Sheahin was the coach of the Raptors from 1991 to 2001, where he put together a 140-52 overall record.
Sheahin then turned to his alma mater, Seneca Valley. Beginning with the girls team, Sheahin spent more than a decade coaching at Seneca Valley. Sheahin became the boys coach in 2006. In coaching both the boys and girls team, Sheahin found a high level of success. With the girls team, Sheahin had a 79-45 record, and a 119-52 record with the boys, including two trips to the state final four.
In 2013, Sheahin moved over to Gaithersburg, where he spent two years, and produced a 39-8 overall record, and a trip to the Xfinity Center. He laid the ground work for the program that current head coach Jeff Holda just led to the state final four.
Sheahin has had success everywhere he’s been, not just in wins, but in producing players. Sheahin has had two players reach the NBA G League, and coached Anthony Tarke at Gaithersburg who has emerged as a star for NJIT.
After taking time away from coaching, Sheahin has decided to return. Sheahin said he had job offers from schools that would be an easier commute for him, but Sherwood “just felt right.”
With the exception of Gaithersburg, Sheahin has consistently had long tenures at the schools in which he has coached. Sheahin said he plans for his time at Sherwood to be no different. The newly appointed coach said he plans to be at Sherwood for the next decade.
Despite spending a short stretch away from coaching, Sheahin is ready to hit the ground running. Sheahin said he has been watching Hudl film of Sherwood players, trying to size up what he will inherit.
Sherwood hasn’t won more than one playoff game in each of the last three years, and hasn’t been to a section final since 2015. Sherwood isn’t far competing, but Sheahin is prepared to build a strong program, just as he has everywhere else he has been. “I want to challenge myself,” Sheahin said. “I want to challenge Sherwood.”
“With my experience and compassion, it’s contagious,” Sheahin added.
Though for Sheahin, the biggest reason why he took the Sherwood job goes back to the community. Sheahin mentioned multiple times how great the Sherwood community is.
The Sherwood community has welcomed Sheahin with open arms. The new head man has already received 10-15 phone calls from people in the community, welcoming him and even offering to assist the team, seemingly a scene out of Hoosiers.
With a program that is close to competing, and a community that has quickly welcomed him, it’s no wonder Sheahin is excited to get back on the sidelines. “I’m ready,” Sheahin said, “I miss it.”