Tom Army was born in 1930, the son of George Army, the legendary Hall of Fame trainer of the Rhode Island Reds.
He was raised a slapshot away from the RI Auditorium – his home away from home. There he developed his hockey IQ observing Reds practices and games and sharpened his exceptional talents as a player on Arena ice.
Tom attended LaSalle Academy, later transferring to the closer walk of Hope High School. In 1951, he began his freshman year at Providence College, where he collaborated with a number of classmates to create a club hockey team.
With the help of his father, his friend Ray Farrell, and the guidance of the Rev. Herman Schneider, they entered the club in the new RI Amateur Hockey Association. At season’s end, they would tie for the league title with Tom leading the circuit in scoring. The following season, after a 25-year absence, varsity Friars hockey was reborn with Tom voted co-captain.
Long past graduation, Tom continued to organize and compete. In 1969, when the Dudley Richards Memorial Rink opened in Tom’s hometown of East Providence, he became a founder of the East Providence Hockey Association, became the driving force behind the famous Fram International Hockey Tournaments, and coached numerous championship teams and
After the 1972 Summit Series, he took his coaching to a new level, adding the Soviet principles of puck possession and cycling to his coaching handbook. His hockey camps were among the first to blend those elements into his camp curriculum…and the first to include girls with boys. As a result, the EPHA would become the prolific feeder program for the great East Providence High School teams of the 1970’s.
His sons -Tom, Jr., Billy, and Tim – and his grandsons – Travis and Derek – have all followed in Tom’s skates as leaders, talented players and highly successful coaches.
Tom would continue his hockey journey with the Providence Bruins. He served for 28 years as their official scorer and supervisor of off-ice officials, retiring in 2021. He was honored by the P-Bruins for that dedicated service during on-ice ceremonies at the then Dunkin’ Donuts Center in 2022.