After a long professional journey that’s sent him all across the state of Virginia, new Blessed Sacrament Huguenot athletic director Chuck Thomas has found himself back to where it all started.
Thomas, 54, is a BSH graduate from the Class of 1987 and is returning to further help the athletic department he once contributed to as an athlete in the gym as well as a coach on the sidelines.
After graduating from Blessed Sacrament, then called Huguenot Academy, and later Virginia Commonwealth University, Thomas returned to his alma mater in 1991 as a coach before making stops at King William, The Fuqua School, St. Christopher’s, Mills Godwin and L.C. Bird as a basketball coach and athletic director.
At St. Christopher’s, he was named the Virginia Prep League Coach of the Year in 2004, which then led to a spot on the bench at William & Mary under then-head coach Tony Shaver for the boys basketball team. In 2019, he joined Hampden-Sydney’s boys basketball coaching staff as well.
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With his 30 years of experience as a coach and athletic director with a varied group of athletic programs, Thomas’ long resume is something that allows him to develop a positive working environment and form a philosophy that builds trust through strong communication.
“This job as an athletic director, you really need coaching experience because if not it makes it harder to relate to your coaches and what they’re doing and what they’re dealing with on a day-to-day basis,” Thomas said. “There’s no replacing experience.”
Now that he’s back, Thomas is looking for the place he graduated from to also be his last stop in his career.
“I’ve kind of come full circle,” he said. “I’m hoping this is the place that I finish up at and retire from.”
That’s largely in part because of the strong ties to the community, something that he feels has always been ingrained in the school’s culture since his days as a student.
“That’s the No. 1 thing coming back is there’s a lot of really good people here, and there’s a family atmosphere that’s hard to explain,” he said.
After officially taking over on July 1, Thomas has already been hard at work getting to know the coaching staff he’ll be working with as well as the parents and athletes he’ll be working for to help provide them with a positive sports experience.
“That’s what is important to me as an athletic director is just making sure these kids when they graduate, they leave here with a memory of their high school years being a great experience,” Thomas said.
With the fall sports season fast approaching, Thomas is as excited as anyone to see this year’s Knights take the field and represent their school.
With his career coming full circle back to where it all began, Thomas’ latest job as an athletic director is no doubt the most familiar.