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Althea Thomas
Position: Assistant Coach

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Althea Thomas is in her second season as an assistant coach at Clemson in 2014-15. She was hired in July 2013 by head coach Mark Elliott to help instruct the men’s and women’s sprints, hurdles and relays.

In Thomas’ first season, the sprint groups produced a first-team All-American in the 60-meter dash (Tevin Hester) and a second-team All-American in the 100 (Reggie Lewis). In all, Clemson sprinters combined to garner seven All-ACC honors.

In her second season, Thomas is responsible for coaching the men’s and women’s athletes in the open 400 and 400 hurdles. A highly decorated 2014 recruiting class has provided much anticipated depth to the long sprints and hurdles.

Thomas spent the 2012-13 season coaching men’s and women’s sprints, hurdles and multi-events at Purdue. She also served as Purdue’s recruiting coordinator in her brief tenure in West Lafayette, Ind. She coached the Big 10’s fourth-place finisher in the men’s 400 hurdles, and extended her duties to include mentoring Vanessa McLeod to a Big 10 Indoor crown in the 800 meters. McLeod was Big 10 runner-up during outdoor season, and was a second-team indoor All-American as well under Thomas’ coaching.

Thomas was an assistant from 2010-12 for the University of Kentucky women’s program. She coached Precious Nwokey to an SEC crown in the pentathlon in 2011, and to second-team All-America honors in the pentathlon and heptathlon the same season. Thomas also coached Jenna Martin to an NCAA East Preliminary title and first-team All-America performance in the 400 dash.

Her first full-time coaching appointment was as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the women’s team at UAB from 2008-10. One of her athletes, Nora Mehl, won the Conference USA heptathlon crown in 2009 and three additional all-conference accolades under Thomas’ guidance. Thomas also coached Akira McSwain to All-Conference USA status in the heptathlon in 2010.

Thomas was the head coach for the Alabama Striders Track Club from 2005-10. She earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from LSU in 2004, where she was a member of two outdoor NCAA Championship (2000, 2003) teams. She was a provisional NCAA qualifier in the 800 meters in 2003, and a national qualifier in the 400 hurdles the same season.

Thomas is originally from Birmingham, Ala., and is the youngest of three siblings and the daughter of youth club coach M. DeWitt Thomas.

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