Former West Virginia Mountaineers linebacker James “JT” Thomas will be inducted into the Minor League Football News Hall of Fame on Thursday, December 6, 2007 at the Oasis Resort Hotel & Casino in Mesquite, Nevada.
Thomas’ appointment was reviewed by the MLFN Board of Directors, and he was notified of his acceptance on July 30.
“It is truly an honor to receive this award,” said Thomas. “I owe everyone a big thank you for supporting me over the years.”
Thomas has used strong leadership skills, a tireless work ethic, and a passion for the sport to become a driving force in the development and promotion of minor and semi-professional league football in the Midwest.
The history of JT Thomas’ football career can be broken down into three separate chapters: player, coach and executive. Thomas’ college career began at Fort Scott Community College (Kansas) in 1992. After his second season, Thomas transferred to West Virginia University (WVU).
In two seasons at Fort Scott – both as team captain – Thomas won two All-Kansas Jayhawk Conference honors as outside linebacker and defensive player of the game in the 1992 Valley of the Sun Bowl. As an inside linebacker for WVU, Thomas received two Mountaineer Club Awards for his excellence on the field, won two All-Big East team honors and won the Defensive Player of the Game title at the 1994 CarQuest Bowl. has also led both teams in tackles each season.
A successful college career led Thomas to the semi-professional football circuit in 1996 with the Charleston Rockets, where he was able to play with former WVU Grand Major Harris. Returning to the outside linebacker, Thomas led the team in tackles and became a league all-star as the Rockets finished their 11-game regular season 10-1. Thomas attempted to carry his semi-professional ball success to Arena Football League in 1997 with the Albany Firebirds, but suffered a career-ending leg injury on day three of training camp.
Instead of a helmet and pads, the next step in Thomas’ football career included a helmet and a clipboard. After a stint as defensive coordinator for a 13-16 year old championship team, Thomas returned to semi-professional football in 2000 as the head coach of the West Virginia WHAM! Located in Morgantown, WV, Thomas compiled a .695 winning percentage (41 wins, 18 losses), won three Coach of the Year awards and coached three League All-Star games in six seasons as that WHAM! the head coach.
In 2001, Thomas also led the WHAM! in the Mid-Ohio Football League (MOFL) Championship.
During the 2003 season, Thomas took full ownership of WHAM! When he left the WHAM! On the sidelines in 2005, he decided to focus full time on developing the success of semi-professional football and WHAM! franchise. In the two years since he left coaching, Thomas has held leadership positions in the Ohio Valley Football League and MOFL. In January 2007, Thomas was promoted to MOFL commissioner.
Currently, Thomas oversees the day-to-day operations of MOFL – a 10-team semi-professional league growing in Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky. His love for semi-professional football is matched only by his desire to see the MOFL – and all minor league football organizations – produce a competitive, organized, developed and entertaining football product for the players of the game and football fans. stands.
Thomas is also a semi-professional athletic consultant for League Level, LLC, a company that provides marketing and promotion strategies to organizations with a focus on amateur and semi-professional athletics.
He currently resides in Morgantown, WV, with his wife Rochelle and two children, Jared, 3, and AJ, 10 months. Thomas also has a son, JT Thomas III, from a previous relationship.