Although there was a 90-year gap between Varhalls playing football for Maryland, the Varhall connection to the University remained strong. Both Tommy’s father, James, and uncle, Nicky, attended the University of Maryland.
Nicky served as a team manager for both the football and men’s basketball teams while a student at Maryland, and if you ask him about his experience he’ll start telling you a story about needing to get an extra-long bed for Tom McMillen.
Due to the family connections to the University, Tommy grew up a big Maryland fan. He specifically remembered one afternoon from his childhood that stuck out, where his family attended the Military Bowl, watching Maryland defeat East Carolina, before going to the Maryland basketball game that night.
That day was also special to James, as he fondly remembers spending time that day with his father, Dr. Gregory Varhall, as well.
“It was the last time that I saw my dad alive,” James said. “He passed away a few years later. That was the last time we got to hang out and do stuff. And it was at a Maryland game and we went to the bowl and I know he had an issue with his leg, but man, he walked all the way into the Military Bowl, walked back out, and then we didn’t know where to park at the new XFINITY Center but he walked around anyway. He was a trooper, and that was our Maryland day. He even had a Maryland flag flowing out in front of his house when we got there.”