Tom Egan

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Tom Egan
Current team: retired
Career record: 228-126
Former school(s): Maine South (2002-07)
Other leadership: see below

Tom Egan, affectively known as Tegan, has supported Scholastic Bowl as a coach, moderator, reformer, administrator, writer, editor, and host. In 2005, he was given the Benjamin Cooper Young Ambassador Award.

College Career

Egan played for only one year at Illinois, only briefly seeing the "B" team, and usually playing on the "C" team. He was not highly regarded by the leadership as his speciality was science, while the others specialized in French literature, Spanish history, and other humanities-related areas. In an earlier era of quizbowl, Egan would help lead the "C" team in writing packets emphasizing ridiculously easy literature and history, while loading as much science as acceptable into the packet. Illinois' "A" never won a match on an Illinois "C" team packet while Egan was the primary "C" team editor. Once, the leadership stripped him of editing, which prompted the new editor to quietly hand the job over to Egan again, given that the leadership generally treated the C team with contempt.


When Egan entered the teaching ranks, there was no available coaching job, which led him to enter officiating. As an official in south suburban Chicago, he saw how poorly written the Illinois State rules were. In a sectional championship match between Oak Forest and Homewood-Flossmoor, the moderator refused to accept an answer from the Homewood-Flossmoor team. Egan, timing the match, interjected that the player was right, giving a commonly acceptable alternative answer. The moderator refused to change their mind citing "we must go with what is on the page" as a rule. Egan later found that there was no such rule, and that the moderator (an Oak Forest teacher) was within their rights to accept the answer, and may or may not have based on personal bias. It is from this event Egan traces his interest in making the Illinois rules more universal, and less open to individual interpretation.

He has officiated at the IHSA State Finals since 2000, moderated at the 2005 and 2009 PACE NSCs and at various HSNCTs, and is a regular at tournaments throughout Illinois. He sometimes reads Illinois Elementary Schools Association (IESA) events at Barrington Station Middle School. In all, through 2008, he has moderated in excess of 750 matches.

Egan had been slowly reducing his officiating commitments by 2012. In 2014, in the midst of a scandal involving the IHSA, Egan resigned from moderating for the IHSA in protest of the unprofessional conduct of an IHSA administrator. Egan began transitioning to statistics at that time, and continues to occasionally keep stats at tournaments.


Egan coached at Maine South from 2002 to 2007 and may return to the job some day. His teams continuously improved during his tenure, winning Ultima and Masonic during his final year. His career record is 228-126.

Egan also coached the Illinois Panasonic Team in 2005 and 2007, filling in for David Riley both times at the last second. The 2005 team finished 3rd, and the 2007 team won Illinois' first Championship. In 2007, Egan was an unwilling participant in the 2007 Team Illinois Travel Disaster.

Everything Else

Egan has played a major role in Illinois Scholastic Bowl for many years. Before coaching at Maine South, taught at Marist (IL), co-founding and then running their league. With Jonah Greenthal, he was the commissioner of the Scholastic Bowl program in the Central Suburban League for 2010-11. When not coaching, Egan can be found at many tournaments as a moderator. Egan is very knowledgeable of Illinois rules, in part because he helped write many of them.

Over the past ten years, Egan has played a major role in the transition in Illinois from single-clue to pyramidal questions, giving many teams their first exposure to such questions. Egan's writing and editing assignments include:

  • 2001 - 2002 - Chief editor for the IHSA; head science writer
  • 2005 - 2007 - Octangular Tournaments (writer and editor)
  • 2006 - 2007 - Maine South Frosh-Soph Classic (writer and editor)
  • 2007-08 - Aegis Questions, Inc. Questions (contributor)
  • 2007-08 - Kentucky State Tournament (contributor)
  • 2008 - Missouri State Tournament (editing assistance)

Egan has also been a major force in IHSSBCA. He had some input to varying degrees in Moderator Certification, the Hall of Fame, and the All-Sectional/All-State program. He oversaw the All-Sectional/All-State program for its first six years. Egan also played a central role in updating IHSA rules and cases.

Egan was also the official coach of forums sub-forum, AHAN Jr., may it rest in peace.

Benjamin Cooper Young Ambassador Award
Preceded by
Succeeded by
David Bykowski & Matt Weiner
Eric Grunden