On Wednesday, March 31, Harry Tholen will be retiring from Santa Fe College after 30 years of service. Currently the Fitness Center coordinator, Tholen started his career at SF in 1981 as the school’s first baseball coach. Along with his coaching duties, he also taught Physical Education classes and helped start the fitness center on campus.
Tholen led the Saints to a 526-423 overall record during his 22 years as head coach (1982-1985 and 1989-2006), including the school’s first baseball State Championship and trip to the JUCO World Series in 1985. He was named the 1992 and 1995 Mid-Florida Conference Coach of the Year.
In the summer of 1991, Tholen was chosen by the American Baseball Coaches Association to coach in Italy and returned in the summers of 1992 and 1993 at the request of the Italian cities he coached in.
In 1996, he was an assistant coach for the National Junior College Athletic Association All-Star Baseball Team that toured Japan.
He served as the Secretary of the NJCAA Coaches Association from 1996-97, the Vice President in 1998, and the President from 1999-2005. He was a member of the ABCA Executive Committee, the governing body of all amateur baseball, from 2000-2005, and served on the ABCA Board of Directors from 2003 to 2005. In 2000, he was the administrator in charge of taking groups of players to Japan and in 2004, he was in charge of taking groups to Beijing, China.
In 1999 he was inducted into the Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame and in 2004 he became a member of the Florida Community College Activities Association Hall of Fame.
In 2006, with his baseball head coaching career behind him, he was hired as the full-time Fitness Center Coordinator at Santa Fe. In 2009 Tholen, returned to the field as a volunteer assistant baseball coach under Coach Johnny Wiggs. The team went on to win a school record 36 games in route to a State Championship and a runner-up finish at the JUCO World Series.
Harry does not plan to slow down upon his retirement. He will be taking frequent trips to San Diego, Calif., to visit his two 4-month-old twin grandchildren, Jack and Sophie, playing plenty of golf, volunteering with the SF baseball team, and spending time with Susan, his wife of 44 years.
Thank you Coach for 30 years of hard work and dedicated service to Santa Fe College!
We would like to encourage anyone who would like to do so, to stop by the gym and wish Harry a happy retirement!
~submitted by Scott Jamison, SF Sports Information