Thomas McDermott is a world masters champion in the hammer throw, a former world record holder in the 400m freestyle relay and a 1994 NYAC Hall of Fame inductee.
McDermott was born on March 15, 1918 in New York City.
In high school, McDermott was one of the country’s best swimmers – particularly in the breaststroke – and, in 1939, was a part of the NYAC’s 400m relay team that broke the world record at the AAU Championships.
During World War II, McDermott served in the US Navy. In 1954, at the age of 36, McDermott was introduced to the renowned throwing coach Frank Ryan, who mentored fellow NYAC Hall of Fame inductee James Fuchs. Ryan persuaded McDermott to try his hand at the discus and hammer throw. From that point on, McDermott switched his focus from swimming to throwing.
McDermott remains one of the winningest master’s throwers in history. In 1975, he won two gold medals and one silver medal at the inaugural Veterans Athletic Championships. McDermott was also the American record holder in the single age discus and hammer throw.
McDermott later served as the throwing coach at Southern Connecticut State University, where he was also an associate professor of British literature.