In May 2016, the new USA Deaf Sports Federation (USADSF) bylaws were proposed and approved by the National Sports Organizations (NSOs). In the new bylaws, the USADSF Board is to include two NSO Representatives. The two main roles for the NSO representatives would be to act as a liaison, facilitating communication between the NSOs and the Board, and to act as an advisor to USADSF affairs. Last week, the NSOs submitted nominations and held an election in which two representatives were selected.
The USADSF Board is excited to welcome Thomas Withrow from USA Deaf Track and Field (USADTF), and Jeff Pollock from U.S. Deaf Ski & Snowboard Association (USDSSA). Thomas will represent the summer sports NSOs, and Jeff will represent the winter sports NSOs. Thomas can be contacted at email@example.com and Jeff can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Their bios are below.
Welcome aboard, Thomas and Jeff!
Thomas Withrow’s Bio:
Thomas has been the USA Deaf Track and Field President since 1998. He, along with Tiffany Williams and Wayne Langbien, put the organization on the map. USADTF holds a 501c3 status since 1999.
Thomas has coached at several schools for the Deaf and Gallaudet University in both capacities, assistant coach and head coach for 34 years. His specialty is Throws. He earned his USA Track and Field Coaching Level II certification in Throws.
Thomas has coached numerous throwers winning Deaf national championships, collegiate conference championships, NCAA All-Americans, Gallaudet Hall of Famers and American and World record holders as well as gold, silver and bronze medalists at several Summer Deaflympics.
Thomas has been the head coach for the USA Deaflympics Track and Field since 2001. Originally, he competed as a Deaflympic Thrower from 1981 through 2001. He held double roles during the 1993 and 1997 Deaflympics as a throws coach and athlete. He stepped up to head coach and continued as a hammer thrower in 2001 after which he retired from throwing. Since then, Thomas has managed teams participating in the Youth PanAM Games for the Deaf, Pan AM Games for the Deaf, World Championships, Friendship Games, Deaflympics and spearheaded the Berg/Seeger Classic, now into its 10th season.
Thomas earned the 1999 USADSF Executive Board Award – USA Deaf Track and Field. In 2002, he was also awarded the prestigious 2001-2002 Art Kruger Memorial Award.
Thomas lives in Austin with his wife Heather (3-time Deaflympian and former WR holder/Gold medalist), their son Skyler (12, Deaf), daughter Anastasia (10, KODA) and son Orion, known as O3 (6, DeafBlind). He is thankful to God for such a journey with the family. He enjoys gardening, collecting pins, being an avid Dallas Cowboys fan and loves checking out the restaurants in Austin.
Thomas certainly is honored to serve on the USADSF Board and he aims to do his best to serve as liaison between the NSOs and the USADSF Board.
Jeff Pollock’s Bio:
Jeff Pollock, of Northridge, California (formerly from Salt Lake City, Utah), has been nominated and selected as an NSO Representative to the USADSF Board. He is an original member of the U.S. Deaf Snowboard Team, selected at the first tryouts at Jackson Hole in 1998, and represented the USA as an alpine snowboarding athlete in the 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2015 Winter Deaflympics (2011 Slovakia was cancelled). In 2005, he was recognized as the USADSF Male Athlete of the Year for his number 12 overall national ranking in the Open Class of the USA Snowboard Association (USASA) for slalom and giant slalom snowboard racing. At the 2015 Winter Deaflympics in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, Jeff was honored as the USA Team flagbearer, a memory he will never forget! After those Games, he retired from competitive snowboarding and will focus on coaching up-and-coming alpine and boardercross snowboarders for future Deaflympics.
Jeff earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Madonna University (Michigan) and a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Utah. He is a Certified Deaf Interpreter and teaches/coordinates the Interpreter Education Program in the Deaf Studies Department at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). In addition to snowboarding, he remains active in many outdoor sports, including wakeboarding, skateboarding, mountain biking, surfing, and white-water SUPing (stand up paddleboarding). He’s also excited to get back into rock climbing after a long hiatus. He’s the father of three teenage children, all of whom are following his footsteps with a love for outdoor sports.
As an athlete and newly elected NSO representative, Jeff looks forward to interacting with athletes and teams from all sports, both winter and summer, and ensuring your views and concerns are heard by the Board.