36th Annual Dinner Auction
 /  36th Annual Dinner Auction

That’s TMoré

A Night at an Italian Restaurant

36th Annual STM Dinner Auction

Saturday, March 30, 2019

2019 Chancellor Award Winner: Tom Sager (DB ’60)

Tom Sager’s history with St. Thomas More dates back before he was even born.  His father, William Sager, was a 1936 graduate of Pio Nono High School.  Years later, his son, Tom, would attend and later become part of the faculty and coaching staff at Don Bosco High School, which would merge with Pio Nono in 1972 to form Thomas More High School.  Though his career would take him elsewhere, Tom’s heart always remained with Don Bosco.


Tom graduated from Don Bosco in 1960 as the school’s first 10-letter winner (four in baseball, three in basketball, three in football).  After a year at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, he transferred to and graduated from St. Joseph’s College in Indiana with a major in history.  Shortly after graduation, on July 18,1964, he married his high school sweetheart, Barbara Lukomski, at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church. They were blessed with four children – Lynn Rutkiewicz (John), Susan Sager, Anne Caskey (Chris), and William Sager (Kristina).  Four grandchildren also grace the Sager clan – Maxwell and Samuel Rutkiewicz and twins, Benjamin and Lauren Sager.


Tom returned to his beloved alma mater, Don Bosco, in 1964, as a social studies/phy ed teacher as well as head basketball coach.  His teams won Catholic Conference championships in 1968 and 1970.  In 1970, he moved from the classroom into a new role as assistant principal, also earning a master’s degree in educational  administration from UW-Milwaukee in 1971.  He continued as assistant principal during the 1972-73 school year, the first year of Thomas More High School’s existence.  Next was a year as an assistant basketball coach at UW-Milwaukee before returning to the classroom in 1974 as a social studies teacher at Racine Park High School, also serving as head basketball coach until 1992.  After a stint as Director of Athletics/Activities at Racine Park, he served as principal at Park from 1994 to 1997.  From 1997 to 2002, he was principal at Whitnall High School, and from 2002 to 2008, he served as principal at Case High School in Racine.


Aside from Tom’s career in education, he was the owner of Westside Basketball School for 33 years.  He also ran Super Shot Basketball Camp and an overnight weekend team camp called Winning Edge.  Through these avenues, Tom and his coaching staff taught the game to thousands of boys and girls, earning a great reputation among students, parents and coaches.


Tom served as president of the WI Basketball Coaches Association from 1977-79 and was  instrumental and a driving force behind creation of the All-Star games, with the primary goal of raising funds for the Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer, which to date has raised $1.9 million dollars.


In 1997, Tom was inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.  And in 2001, he was inducted into the Thomas More Athletic Hall of fame, followed by induction into the Alumni Hall of fame in 2005.  Sager’s teams were well disciplined and played with great intensity, perhaps reflecting his own personality: one who worked and played, coached and lived with high energy, dedicated purpose and moral integrity.


In 2014, Tom was approached by STM athletic director John Hoch and alumni director Dan Steffes to help them honor elite Don Bosco athletes who had not yet been recognized by the school.  What began as a small request became a project that grew bigger than anyone dreamed.


Before his death in 2012, Coach Jim Haluska and Tom would host a low-key golf outing for about 20-30 Don Bosco and Thomas More alumni.  Tom reached out to many of those players seeking input on how best to recognize Don Bosco athletes.  One idea posed was to honor championship teams and he extensively researched how best to achieve this.  In the summer of 2015, he hosted a large Don Bosco Athletics reunion, attended by many former players.  And, after months of discussion and planning, the Coach Jim Haluska Wall of Champions was dedicated in September, 2015.


The costs of the Wall, the team plaques, and the individual player awards presented a challenge.  Tom took the small golf outing that he and Coach Haluska hosted each year and grew it into an event with more than 125 golfers each year since 2014.  Result – the golfers and sponsors from the outings cover the ongoing inductions of teams into the Coach Haluska Wall of Champions.


When asked why Don Bosco meant so much to him, Tom cited the tremendous school spirit atmosphere.  He enjoyed his friends, teachers, coaches and teammates and loved competing in athletics at such a high level.  In fact, he enjoyed it so much, he never missed a day of school in his 4 years (720 days) at Don Bosco.


St. Thomas More is grateful to Tom for his dedication to the Don Bosco family.  Tom’s former students and players are fiercely loyal to him and he is one of the most influential figures in Don Bosco and St. Thomas More history.   Through Tom’s efforts, many Dons who felt that their school was gone for good have found a place to call home at St. Thomas More.  Thank you, Tom, for reconnecting St. Thomas More with such an important pillar of our school’s history.




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Dan Steffes TM '03 x122
Alumni Director & Events Coordinator
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Thank you to Cudahy Dental Associates, S.C. for its support of the 36th Annual STM Dinner Auction! Cudahy Dental is sponsoring the event's program.

Learn more about the event and view items available for bidding at tmore.org/2019auction!
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Thank you to CG Schmidt, Inc. for its support of the 36th Annual STM Dinner Auction! CG Schmidt is sponsoring the event's Live Auction, which will include a trip for two to Mexico and the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at a Milwaukee Brewers home game!

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School Information

St. Thomas More High School
2601 East Morgan Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53207

Phone: (414) 481-8370
Fax: (414) 481-3382
Email: [email protected]

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