Thomas — By the Numbers
1 - SEC Champion; Canadian National Champion
2 - NCAA All-Americans
8 - All-SEC Athletes
1 - Big 10 Champion; All-American
3 - All-Big 10 Athletes
1 - ACC Indiviudal Champion; USA Junior Champion
2 - ACC Relay Championships
7 - All-ACC Athletes
Althea Thomas enters her third season as an assistant coach at Clemson in 2015-16. She was hired in July 2013 by head coach Mark Elliott to help instruct the men’s and women’s sprints, hurdles and relays.
Thomas had a major impact across the board for Clemson’s improvement on the men’s and women’s side in 2014-15. She was a part of the staff that led the women to an ACC Indoor and Outdoor Championships sweep, just one year after the program’s best finish was eighth.
Thomas coached Samantha Elliott in her lone season with the Tigers. Elliott was a second-team All-American and ACC Champion in the 60 hurdles, and a three-time NCAA qualifier in 2015. Also on the women’s side, Thomas coached the 4x400 relay to a school record at the NCAA East Preliminary Round on May 30.
One of Thomas’ crowning achievements came in June, when she coached Cordell Lamb to a USA Junior Championship in the 400 meters. Lamb was part of Clemson’s ACC Championship in the indoor 4x400 relay as well.
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.