In 2017-18, Dave Thomas enters his 12th season at the Ram's cross country head coach and the sixth as the head coach of the track and field program. In his time at the school, Thomas has built the Rams into a dominant force within the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC).
12-TIME CACC CHAMPION
Women's Cross Country (9): 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
Men's Cross Country (3): 2009, 2014, 2017
10-TIME CACC COACH OF THE YEAR
Women's Cross Country (7): 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017
Men's Cross Country (3): 2008, 2010, 2014
The cross country programs have combined to win 12 CACC championships (women – nine, men – three) in Thomas’ first 12 years at the helm. The women have won nine of the last 10 CACC titles (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017). The men claimed the conference title in 2009, 2014 and 2017.
A 10-time CACC cross country coach of the year (women – seven, men – three), Thomas has helped Joshua Vander Veen (2006), Sarah Simonetti (2010, 2011), Emilie Barton (2015), and Curran Kneebone (2015) earn the CACC Runner of the Year award, given to the runner that wins the CACC Championship meet. In 2009 and 2011, Simonetti represented Philadelphia University at the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championship. She is the only runner from the University and the CACC to compete in the national champion.
Thomas’ coaching has allowed the Rams to achieve All-CACC recognition 91 times (women – 55, men – 36), including four-time honorees Faith Anderson (2006-09), Gabrielle Dei Tos (2008-11), Simonetti (2008-11), Taylor Falvey (2011-14), Eric Lacy (2011-14), Tim Malloy (2011-14), Alyssa Litty (2012-15), and Emilie Barton (2012-15). Eight Rams have earned the CACC Rookie of the Year award: Simonetti (2008), Chelsea Attaway (2010), Malloy (2011), Falvey (2011), Litty (2012), Jessica Thies (2013), Juliana Coculo (2015) and Kali Safer (2017).
Regionally, the women achieved their highest final at the NCAA Division II East Region Championship in 2011 with a third-place finish, while the men recorded their best finish of seventh in 2014. Simonetti earned United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-East Region recognition four times. Anjelica DiNucci (2010), Christina Wetzel (2011), Malloy (2013), Lacy (2013), Litty (2013) and Falvey (2013) has also earned all-region honors during Thomas’ tenure.
In 2017, Milan Duka of men's cross country earned all-region honors as he placed 12th overall of 159 runners at the NCAA East Region Championship from Audubon Golf Course in Amherst, N.Y. He was the highest finisher ever at the meet for a Philadelphia University/Jefferson runner since the school added the cross country program in 2005. Duka missed making the NCAA national championships by about 25 seconds behind the last individual qualifier.
TRACK AND FIELD
On the track side, the women have finished three in all three CACC Outdoor Track & Field Championships and the men posted a second-place finish in 2014, a third place in 2015, and a sixth place in 2016. Falvey won the 5,000-meter run and the 10,000-meter run in 2015 to earn the CACC Women’s Track Athlete of the Year. Most recently in 2016, the women placed fourth of 10 in the CACC Championship while the men finished seventh of nine.
Thomas has competed in over 75 marathons, including the Boston Marathon 17 times. He posted a personal-best marathon time of 2:28:54 in the 1985 Chicago Marathon. He was the first American to compete in England’s London to Brighton race in 1992 and South Africa’s Comrades Marathon in 2000, both races are 56 miles.
A graduate of Temple University with a B.S. in exercise science, Thomas has worked in the preventive medical field and conditioning coach for over 30 years. During his career, Thomas—who is certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association—has been involved in coaching many professional and amateur athletes including members of the Philadelphia Flyers, Philadelphia 76ers, and Olympic gold-medalist boxer Meldric Taylor.
For 17 years Thomas has coached the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training, an organization in which runners train for sporting events, such as marathons, while raising money for cancer research.
A Level 1 USA Track and Field Coach, Thomas is the president of the Philadelphia Athletic Charities and Fast Cat Sports Productions, the race director of the Schuylkill River Loop Run, and a member of the American College of Sports Medicine.
A Philadelphia native, Thomas lives in the Roxborough section of the city with his wife, Marie.