Tom Blackford, the varsity boys basketball coach at Fayetteville-Manlius who won two state Class D championship at Hamilton High School, is now a member of the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame.
Blackford joins a class of 10 other inductees that will receive their honors on March 20, 2011 at Heritage Hall Civic Center in Glens Falls as part of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association boys basketball championship festivities.
From 1982 to 2002, Blackford, a graduate of Cazenovia High School (where he played three sports) and SUNY-Cortland, coached at Hamilton High, where his teams won 317 games and lost just 138, a win percentage of .697.
During that time, the Emerald Knights won seven league titles, five Section III championships and made five trips to the state final four in Glens Falls where, in 1994 and 2000, Hamliton won it all. Twelve of his players earned All-State honors, most notably Adonal Foyle, who went on to stardom at Colgate University and the NBA.
Taking over at F-M in 2002, Blackford has gone 100-78 with the Hornets, earning sectional Class AA Coach of the Year honors in 2007. Recently retired as a teacher, he has also served time as an assistant football coach and head girls lacrosse and softball coach with the Hornets. He recently took over as head softball coach at Morrisville State College.
Beyond all that, Blackford has served as a mentor to many other coaches and runs various basketball camps throughout Central New York. He has shown his physical prowess by running 12 marathons and completing three Ironman competitions.
Already, Blackford has been honored with enshrinement in the Cazenovia High School Hall of Fame and, this summer, the Hamilton High School Hall of Honor.