Born in Boise, Idaho in 1964, Tom was the son of Tom and Alice Hennessey. He has two sisters and grew up in Boise attending Boise High School.
Tom was an accomplished ski racer as a youth winning the Idaho State Championships twice and the Pacific Northwest Championship s once. While at Boise High, Tom wrestled, played baseball and football. He was named First Team All State his junior and senior year.
Tom attended the University of Idaho from 1982 to 1987 on a football scholarship majoring in Animal Science. He was a four year starter at linebacker . As a junior and senior, he was named First Team Linebacker in the Big Sky Conference, as well as Defensive Play er of the year as a junior. As a two time team captain, he set the career interception record and single season tackle record, which still stands.
Upon graduation, Tom worked in Boise in the insurance industry. In 1994 he went to work for Simplot Livestock as a cattle buyer. He was with Simplot for 14 years, the last 6 years as the hea d cattle buyer.
From 2008 to present, Tom is self-employed as a cattle buyer/feeder. Tom lives in Mountain Home with his wife, Shana. He has two sons, Tom and Jake. Tom, who also graduated from the University of Idaho and was a team captain, lives in Boise with his new wife, Haley. Jake graduated from College of Idaho where he played baseball and football. He is currently pursuing his Masters degree from University of Idaho.