Georgia track and field assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Althea Thomas has been promoted to associate head coach, according to an announcement from Bulldog head coach Petros Kyprianou.
Thomas, a native of Birmingham, Ala., was hired at the start of the 2017-18 school year and has played a pivotal role solidifying the program as one of the nation’s best through her work as the teams’ sprints, hurdles and relay coach and with her recruiting prowess.
“Althea has proven to be a great coach and recruiter for us and has showed her loyalty and dedication to this team continually,” said Kyprianou. “She has been a major ingredient in our NCAA titles and the No. 1 recruiting class, along with being a tremendous asset as a recourse to our team and staff. Althea is another obvious example of this culture we have established five to six years ago, and she carries it with pride and dedication 24/7. Her hard work in coaching both genders and recruiting nearly every area supports my foundation in this decision. Go Dawgs!”
Since Thomas’ arrival, the Georgia women have won the 2018 NCAA indoor team title and been the national runner-up at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships. The Bulldog men have four top-nine national team finishes in that stretch, including three top-four finishes, and captured the 2018 NCAA outdoor team championship.
In addition to the development of 2018 outdoor 400-meter dash champion Lynna Irby, Thomas helped nail down the nation’s top recruiting class prior to the 2020 campaign. The Lady Bulldogs inked the nation’s top high jumper in Shelby Tyler (Noblesville, Ind.), the nation’s top pole vaulter in Julia Fixsen (Shoreview, Minn.), the nation’s top heptathlete in Anna Hall (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) and the nation’s top triple/long jumper in Jasmine Moore (Grand Prairie, Texas), among others.
Thomas was also credited with signing Houston, Texas, native Matthew Boling, who owns the fastest all-conditions 100m in high school history (9.98). Boling set the school record in the indoor 200m in 2020 with the country’s fourth-fastest time of the year (20.66) during his first year in red and black.
While the 2020 outdoor season was canceled, the Lady Bulldogs were ranked fourth in the last U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) poll prior to the 2020 NCAA Indoor Championships. That meet was also stalled because of the pandemic after Georgia and the rest of the field had arrived in Albuquerque, N.M., during the second week in March.
Additional Kyprianou Comments Regarding Thomas:
“Althea is a humble warrior who doesn’t crave credit. She has taken a vast amount of responsibilities beyond her job description and I feel this will set her up for becoming a great head coach down the road. She is the main reason behind the development and recruitment of UGA great sprinters such as Lynna Irby, Matthew Boling and many more. There is an African proverb that says ‘If you want to go fast, you go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ I choose the latter and ‘AT’, like the rest of our coaching staff, are the people we want to go far with!”