"Big man!" Not only did his nickname describe the physical stature of Tad Delorm, whose six-foot, four-inch, 210-lb. frame filled the net, but it also characterized his ability as a player. During his four-year career (1974-77) tending goal for the Owl soccer team, big saves in big games became Delorm's calling card. The only "small" part of his game was the quiet demeanor in which he approached his job.
Originally from New City, N.Y., Delorm began his Owl career early. A product of Coach Ron Butcher's soccer camps, Delorm eventually took over as Keene State's starting net minder in 1975, replacing fellow Hall of Famer Brad Steurer.
Delorm flourished under the tutelage of Butcher, whose disciplinarian style brought the best out of the New York native.
"Coach Butcher worked me hard and got me ready to play," said Delorm, who had a knack for pouncing on balls during corner kicks before the opposition knew what hit them. "He taught me the skills and refined my technique."
"Tad was not interested in the rah-rah stuff, and that's how he played the game," said Butcher. "He was, however, an outstanding competitor and technical goalkeeper who was responsible for getting us to the National NAIA Championship game in 1977."
Delorm, who finished his Keene State career with an impressive 0.84 GAA and 27 shutouts, played in some of the Owls' most memorable games during the program's early years. In addition to the NAIA title game against Quincy (Ill.), Delorm was the netminder in Keene State's epic two-day, 14-overtime 2-2 stalemate versus Plymouth State his sophomore year.
Receiving All-American and All-New England recognition as a senior, Delorm also shone in the professional ranks, playing in both the North American Soccer League and the American Soccer League.
Delorm earned a degree in physical education from Central Connecticut State University when he left the pro game. Teaching at the Lewis-Fox Middle School in Hartford the past 14 years, he has kept his hand in sports, helping with boys' and girls' soccer teams and even starting the school's wrestling program. Married to Keene State graduate Barbara Bullard '78, Delorm now lives in Kessington, Conn,
"It says a lot for the program that it's had such exceptional goaltenders and even had three go on to play in the pros," he said, "I'm very proud of being part of that tradition."