The UGA track and field program has added Althea Thomas as the Bulldogs’ recruiting coordinator and women’s sprints, hurdles and relays coach, according to an announcement from head coach Petros Kyprianou.
“I’m very excited to announce the hiring of Althea Thomas,” said Kyprianou about his new assistant who comes by way of Clemson where she spent the last four years as an assistant for the Tigers. “An outstanding recruiter and veteran coach, Althea has qualities that will complement our staff perfectly and add to its potential, making us better in many ways. She will be in charge of the women’s sprinters and lead our recruiting efforts.
“Althea brings a plethora of talents to Athens such as being a superb communicator and vicious recruiter and she has worked under some great coaches. I look forward to having her on my staff and to her helping us continue our tradition. I truly believe Althea will help elevate our women’s sprints to being a national contender.”
“I would like to thank (Clemson head coach) Mark Elliott and (Director of Athletics) Dan Radakovich for giving me the opportunity to be part of the Clemson family these past four years,” Thomas said. “Being at Georgia and back in the Southeastern Conference brings me much excitement. I’m looking forward to being a part of Coach Kyprianou’s staff and contributing to UGA’s championship culture. There’s a lot of talent and potential within the sprint and hurdle group. I cannot wait to help these young women meet and exceed their goals.”
In 2017, Clemson sent four individual qualifiers and three relay qualifiers to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the sprints, hurdles and relays. The women’s 4×100-meter relay team earned First Team All-America honors. Two individuals also competed at this year’s NCAA Indoor Championships under Thomas’ tutelage.
Thomas helped guide the men’s 4x400m relay team to titles at the 2017 ACC Indoor and Outdoor Championships – their third in two years as they won the 2016 ACC indoor crown in the event as well. In addition, Thomas coached two conference champions in the sprints at the ACC Indoor Championships. The Tigers swept the top three spots in the men’s 400m competition, while the women took first and second in the 60m. In total, the Tigers had 23 All-ACC First Team selections and 25 All-ACC Second Team awards between the men and women’s squads in 2017.
During her time at Clemson starting in 2013, Thomas coached four ACC relay champions, three ACC individual champions, a USA Junior champion along with a grand total of 22 All-ACC student-athletes.
Prior to her time with the Tigers, Thomas spent a season at Purdue (2012-13) and two years at Kentucky (2010-12). She began her full-time coaching career in 2008 as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for University of Alabama-Birmingham’s women’s team and held the position until departing for Lexington.
Thomas, a native of Birmingham, Ala., earned her Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from LSU in 2004, where she was a member of two NCAA outdoor championships (2000, 2003). She was a provisional NCAA qualifier in the 800m and a national qualifier in the 400m hurdles in 2003. Upon completion of her degree, she acted as the head coach for the Alabama Striders Track Club from 2005-2010 until she made the jump to the collegiate ranks.