FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Laura Thomas has joined the NAU swimming & diving program as an assistant coach, head coach Andy Johns announced Monday. A two-time NCAA All-American swimmer at Georgia, Thomas has founded two aquatic clubs and been a head coach for three club teams and a high school team with more than 15 years of experience in the state of Georgia.
"The opportunity to coach at Division-I is huge for me," said Thomas. "It's been a dream of mine to be a college coach so when the opportunity came about I was excited. I feel really welcome here and it just a great place to be so it's very exciting."
Thomas earned her first coaching position in 1997 as the head coach for the Deer Run swim team in Conyers, Ga., a position she held for more 15 years during which time she led swimmers to six county championships. Thomas founded both the Cobia Aquatic Club in Conyers and the Swim Oconee Aquatic Club in Watkinsville, Ga., and served as head coach, president and CEO of both organizations.
Thomas also has a wealth of experience in teaching, having taught at three different middle schools since 1997. Since 2006 Thomas taught math and social studies to seventh and eighth graders at Oconee County middle school in Watkinsville while also serving as the head coach of the Oconee County High School swimming & diving team for the last three seasons. In addition to those duties, she served as an assistant coach to Harvey Humphries, Associate Head Coach at the University of Georgia, while working for the Athens Bulldogs Swim Club.
Thomas put together a storied career both in the pool and in the classroom at Georgia where she was a two-time NCAA All-American. She was named All-SEC all four years of her career and was named team captain her senior year. Thomas participated in the 1984 US Olympic trials and was the UGA school record holder in the 200 butterfly at the time of her graduation. Academically, Thomas was a three-time Academic All-American, earned the NCAA Post Graduate scholarship, and was a Rhodes Scholar nominee.
Thomas graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Georgia in 1988 with a Bachelor's in marketing before earning a Master of Education in instructional technology from Troy University in 2005. Thomas has a daughter, Zoe, who is in seventh grade.
The 2012-13 NAU Swimming & Diving Media Guide is also now available as a digital book and as a PDF via the above links. The guide contains University and team information, coach and student-athlete biographies, 2011-12 season review and 2012-13 season outlook, program and facility history and records, and NCAA qualifying standards