Coach Ferris “Tommy” Thomsen Jr. spent 25 years at Denison between 1965 and 1990, guiding his Big Red lacrosse teams to 13 conference championships and compiling a remarkable 255-97 win-loss record. At the time of his retirement, Coach Thomsen was one of only three active college lacrosse coaches in the nation with more than 200 wins.
A native of the Baltimore area, Thomsen graduated from the George School in Philadelphia, and from the University of Pennsylvania in 1954, where he earned B.S. degree in education and was goaltender and captain of Penn’s division-winning lacrosse team. He was also a varsity athlete in wrestling and 150-lb. football.
Thomsen began his teaching and coaching career at St. Alban’s School in Washington, D.C., and then spent seven years coaching football, wrestling and lacrosse at River Country Day School in Weston, Conn.
In 1965, he was appointed as the head coach of Denison’s wrestling and lacrosse teams, and as a physical education instructor. Thomsen was named assistant professor in 1967. That same year, his lacrosse team was crowned champion of the Midwest Lacrosse Association, a feat they duplicated every year through 1973, and again in 1980-84. Under Thomsen, the Big Red also won lacrosse championships in the North Coast Athletic Conference in 1985 and ’86. Thomsen also served as faculty advisor to the Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honorary.