Recently, I was in Santa Barbara for the 2012 US Open Overall Flying Disc Championships and I had the chance to sit down with Tom “TK” Kennedy. We had a candid conversation about how he got into the game, his history with the Ultimate Players Association (now known as USA Ultimate) and his role with the formation of the Santa Barbara Condors, one of the most famous ultimate teams ever. This first video is just a snippet of our conversation and I get his thoughts on the current state of ultimate – the AUDL, Brodie Smith’s trick shot videos and youth ultimate.
USA Ultimate Hall of Fame Member – Tom “TK” Kennedy
Inducted: 2004 – Inaugural Class
Current Home: Santa Barbara, California
Born: March 31, 1949
Tom “TK” Kennedy was the founder of the UPA in 1979 and its first National Director. TK was an active player of all disc sports throughout the 1970s and was the driving force behind the growth of Ultimate in the western states.
He was a founding member, captain and coach of the Santa Barbara Condors, a team that dominated West Coast Ultimate play for many years starting in 1975. The Condors won three of the first five U.S. national championships in 1977, 1978 and 1981.
As a player, TK dominated the national spotlight while competing in the five-region national championship series that he established in 1979, bridging the gap between West and East Coast Ultimate.
During his playing career and in the years since he retired in the early 1980s, TK has received the respect of all his peers as he always embodied, through word and deed, “The Spirit of the Game.”