Skip links
The tiger in us

The Tiger In Us: The Legacy of Tom Saylor – A Story of Football, War, and Fatherhood

The Tiger In Us: The Legacy of Tom Saylor – A Story of Football, War, and Fatherhood

In the autumn of 1975, the remarkable journey of Hudson High School in the small yet spirited town of Hudson, Michigan—home to only 2,600 residents—captured the imaginations of many, including filmmaker Steve Gebhardt. Amidst the shadows of war, this town stood as a beacon of American resilience, its high school on the cusp of etching an indelible mark on history. With a determination to chronicle this pivotal moment, Gebhardt, armed with his passion for capturing storytelling, ventured into the cold at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant. Yet, this was far more than a championship; it was a testament to a community’s ability to unite and rally behind a historic season that transcended the game of football. Under the stewardship of Coach Tom Saylor, the Hudson Tigers not only rebounded from an early setback in 1968 but also embarked on a record-breaking winning streak that shattered the limitations previously ascribed to a small town’s aspirations. This story, rich in perseverance, solidarity, and victory against the backdrop of national unrest, struck a profound chord, showcasing how Tom profoundly influenced the lives of young men. It’s a genuine tale of mentorship and preparation for life’s battles, both literal and metaphorical, compelling Gebhardt and others to preserve this remarkable period in history for posterity.

Just as Gebhardt did, a fresh storyteller, Todd Saylor – the son of Tom Saylor, is motivated to recount the stirring tale of Tom Saylor and the Hudson Michigan Tigers. Todd will be revisiting the most intricate and beautiful moments of this story through his forthcoming book, “The Tiger in Us”. This book offers a unique perspective, that of a son observing his father guiding boys to evolve into men, prepared for warfare beyond the field.

Through the story of Tom Saylor’s tenure as both a coach and a surrogate father figure, the book highlights how he prepared his players not just for the game on the field but for the uncertainties and challenges of war. Saylor’s approach to coaching was infused with lessons on resilience, leadership, and teamwork, embodying a deeper significance in the face of societal turmoil. “The Tiger In Us” aims to offer a poignant, emotional homage to the enduring legacy of a team that resonated deeply with many, showcasing the steadfast spirit of a community rallying behind them, and illustrating how the discipline and camaraderie fostered on the football field equipped young men for the trials beyond it.

The tiger in us
The Tiger In Us – Hudson MI

Renowned author, speaker, and entrepreneur Todd Saylor attributes his success to the teachings of his father, Tom, which he received at a young age. Saylor, widely recognized as “America’s First Functional Business Coach”, found his father’s story to be profoundly impactful. He has successfully established multimillion-dollar businesses like PayServ Systems, a popular HR and payroll software used across various sectors, a success he attributes to the leadership and mentorship of his father. Saylor believes he must share this inspiring story, particularly considering the current need for father figures and mentors in America.

“Time is running out for my father… and it’s my responsibility to convey a story that I believe will resonate with numerous fathers and sons, families, and communities,” Todd shared during his discussions with legendary football coach Tony Dungy. “This is about more than just football… visualize the world from the perspective of those boys, gearing up to face not just opponents on the field, but actual enemies on foreign soil.” He continued, “I’ll never forget these words my father once told me, ‘Son, I’m not just a football coach, I’m a builder of men’.”

Quote from Todd Saylor

In “The Tiger In Us” Todd Saylor weaves a narrative that captures the essence of his father’s dual role as a coach and a father figure, not only to his family but also to the young men under his guidance. Tom Saylor’s story is one of compassion and leadership, highlighting how sports can serve as a microcosm for society’s greater challenges and triumphs.

The book explores the unique challenges faced by the team members, some of whom were drafted into the Vietnam War, bringing a unique twist to the conventional sports story. It’s a tale that intertwines the fate of a small town’s football team with the national consciousness of a country at war, exploring themes of sacrifice, courage, and the bonds forged in the crucible of competition and conflict.

Todd Saylor’s account also sheds light on the personal challenges Tom Saylor faced, balancing his commitment to his team with his duties as a family man. The narrative beautifully illustrates the parallels between the strategic decisions made on the football field and those required in the personal and professional lives of those he mentored.

“The Tiger In Us” is more than just a sports book; it is a profound exploration of the human condition, offering insights into the values of leadership, resilience, and the enduring impact of nurturing young talents. Through the lens of football, it tells a broader story of American life during one of its most challenging periods, making it a must-read for sports enthusiasts, history buffs, and anyone who appreciates the profound impact of mentorship and fatherhood.

The Tiger In Us - Hudson MI
The Tiger In Us – Hudson MI

The team’s story had become so popular that congratulations came in from all across America. This included a letter from President Gerald R. Ford, a former high school football player from Michigan.

Dear Mr. Saylor,

Congratulations to you and your players on a seventy-second consecutive victory. This is an achievement never equaled by any other football team, and I know how proud you must be to be a part of it.

It is rare when a football team’s winning streak stretches over a month than a couple of seasons. One which extends through a period of seven years, and involves three or four distinct groups of players, indicates a level of dedication, leadership, and community support that is truly spectacular.

I send you my best wishes.
Gerald R. Ford”

letter from President Gerald R. Ford

The book not only promises to be a captivating read, shedding new light on the legacy of Tom Saylor and the young men he inspired but also marks the beginning of a multifaceted project exploration that will extend into the realm of cinema. We are excited to share that leading film studios have already approached us with a keen interest in adapting this heartfelt tribute into a movie. This story is more than just a reflection on a bygone era of football; it delves into the complexities of growing up under the specter of war and the timeless lessons learned both on and off the field. This project aims to bring these narratives to life, reaching audiences across various platforms and offering a deeper, more immersive experience into the legacy and lessons of Tom Saylor and his era.

Release Date: Feb 8, 2024

For more information, please contact: Wired Differently or visit

Author: Todd Saylor

Contact Phone Number: 18872947331

Todd Saylor