In the early 1980’s the Warrior Bench, which was the athletic booster club for Del Norte High School sports, sponsored a program that was called the “Dream Team of the Fifties”. The purpose of the program was to honor a group of former Warrior Football players that played during the 1950 to 1960 era.
This mythical team was selected for the most part by retired head coach Tex Gatlin. Tex coached the Warriors during that entire decade and is fondly remembered by all that played for him. One of the former players selected for that team is 1958 graduate Tom Cochran. Tom played offensive guard for the Warriors for four years. I still remember the colorful tales that Tex told about Tom.
After graduation Tom enrolled at Linfield College where he continued his football career. He found that there was not a large need for a small guard at the college level.
After Linfield Tom received his water safety instructors certificate and taught swimming for a period of time. He also attended Shasta College for a semester where he did not play football, but was on their swim team.
After college, like so many from his era he was drafted and spent three years in the military. When Tom got out of the service he returned to Crescent City and went to work for his father in the restaurant business at The Frontier. Tom’s brother Jerry was still in the service, but when he was released from the military, Tom and Jerry bought the business from their father.
They ran The Frontier together until Jerry became the county assessor, at which time Tom bought out Jerry. He ran the business for several years. After leaving the restaurant business Tom went to work for the Del Norte Unified School district as head of the food service department, a position he held for 17 years.
Tom is a native Del Norter that has always had a real love for this community. “This town has been so good to me, I want to give back as much as I can,” he said.
During the years he has spent three years as a member of the county board of supervisors and has served on the library board, the harbor commission and is presently a member of the school district board. Tom has served for 30 years on the Manpower Planning Commission which works through Rural Human Services.
Tom and wife Susan have four grown children, three girls and one boy. Tom is a true Warrior that really cares about the youth of our community. We are lucky to have him.
Dick Trone writes on his reflections and the history of Del Norte High Warrior sports. Trone, who played football for the Warriors, had an illustrious career on the gridiron at Humboldt State University. Trone was head football coach at Del Norte High for a number of years before retiring.