Fri. Sep 17th, 2021

By John Frierson
Staff members Author

James Thomas is a excellent offer much more than a observe and discipline coach. The new Ga assistant, who will oversee the Bulldogs’ jumpers and blended-situations student-athletes, is also a partner, father … and a home designer. “I like to style stuff from scratch,” he mentioned.

Thomas has joined new Director of Monitor and Field Caryl Smith Gilbert‘s employees immediately after coaching numerous NCAA champions in the course of an great decade at Texas Tech. Along with guiding those people nationwide champions and dozens of All-Us residents all through his 20 years as a collegiate coach, Thomas has also intended and been the innovative pressure guiding five residences.

Throughout a recent Fast Chat, Thomas talked about his days as an athlete, his exhilaration at coming to Ga, his curiosity in residences, and a great deal additional. Here is some of what he had to say:

Frierson: Following a excellent run at Texas Tech, what is it like transferring to a new school, new town, and a new plan?

Thomas: It is really variety of nonetheless a whirlwind. Every thing happened so brief, and when you have a family that you uproot and you transfer you say goodbye to 1 symbol, a single university, and then you start attempting to study the names of an operation at UGA which is contrary to any other, with so a great deal aid and men and women in place to enable our college student-athletes and coaches.

It really is been a lot, I almost require some flashcards to keep up with the names and facts simply because there are so numerous individuals in the UGA household that play a aspect in all the achievements. It is been a experience so far presently.

Frierson: What activities did you contend in throughout your observe and discipline days?

Thomas: I was a jumper and a decathlete. I started off off as a high college form carrying out long, triple and high, all the jumps, out of west Houston, the town of Katy, Texas. I did that escalating up and then I went to faculty and moved to the decathlon. I might tampered with it a minimal bit my to start with three years, just seeking some diverse events, but following I got finished with basketball I experienced a full fifth calendar year just to emphasis on monitor. Which is when I went significant on the decathlon. I experienced an remarkable mentor and he introduced me up and confirmed me the way.

Frierson: In the decathlon or heptathlon, which is the toughest party for university student-athletes to decide on up on and do very well? Or is it distinct for absolutely everyone?

Thomas: It’s a small different with every person. Some persons are naturals — me, I grabbed the javelin. I was an ex-soccer participant and I could usually toss properly. I grabbed the jav and it did not take me long to figure out how to throw a spear in a spiral.

What you master is the commonalities of athletics and the way points link like a puzzle. If you might be lacking some items of the puzzle then you never get that entire photograph. In the decathlon and a lot of these events, they’re like a work of art, a puzzle, and it’s our position to make absolutely sure we have all the parts for people to set that photograph together.

That is in all probability the toughest portion, due to the fact of the commonalities. If you are possessing difficulties in just one spot, like your sprinting putting up, your running variety, that error is heading to be the very same mistake across the board in a long of other gatherings. You from time to time have to start off from the floor up and get young males and females to realize that this is how you have to do specified points. There are sure issues, specialized things, that you require to place in location right away in buy to have accomplishment quick and very long expression.

Frierson: What is some thing you could try to eat each and every working day and under no circumstances get fatigued of it?

Thomas: Which is a tricky one. It has to begin with a drink — I am a tea dude, I’m a incredibly hot tea man, I do not drink coffees. I could do tea at probably 100 degrees, 110 levels. I love sizzling tea, and it is really ordinarily a inexperienced or some style of organic tea.

As for some sort of food that I could do just about every working day, I’m a seafood guy. It can be spicy, it can be shrimp, it can be fish — I like factors from the sea. All of my loved ones is from Louisiana, New Orleans, and so I grew up a seafood male. All of our stuff is Cajun, spicy, points like that. When people today question, do you like spicy foodstuff? Not actually, unless it can be Cajun. If it really is Cajun, it can be as spicy as it can be.

Frierson: How are you in the kitchen?

Thomas: You know what, I like to consider I am very great. My son (Jordan), who’s 12, he’s the potential culinary arts child. He’s been cooking breakfast for the relatives considering that he was possibly about 10, waking up, scrambling eggs, cooking bacon, turning the oven on — he’s pretty sophisticated in those areas.

Between him and my spouse, they appreciate the kitchen area. I built a wonderful outdoor grill and that is my justification for having my man toys, get the pit cigarette smoking, and do items like that. From some crawfish boils to some grilling on the pit, I appreciate that.

Frierson: Do you have a creative aspect? Is there nearly anything resourceful you do or wish you could do?

Thomas: I like to layout stuff from scratch. I you should not know what it is but I have been a portion of serving to style and design track services, I have built five houses, two of them created from scratch. Just one of them started out out on a sheet of paper that I did on a airplane. I employed an architect and inevitably discovered a builder that could execute the eyesight.

I like building. I’ve constantly experienced a resourceful side and I search for that way to make the eyesight of what you want. My upcoming huge challenge I assume I want to do is it’s possible consider an more mature household in Athens and perhaps a close by spot, gut the whole issue out and see what I can do with somebody else’s development, see if I can nevertheless make it my possess.

Frierson: That was a extremely sudden response. Did you review architecture? How do you even know how to start off developing your have dwelling?

Thomas: I search back to when I was a youthful kid, 4 or 5 several years previous, and we moved out to Houston, to the suburb of Katy. They crafted a home from scratch they took every little thing they had, every little thing they owned, and poured into developing a $110,000 house for us to be ready to be in a person of the nicest faculty districts in the city.

We went there and just about every solitary day I desired to there (to the dwelling when it was remaining designed) with my father. I viewed every one piece of concrete getting poured, I watched the basis arrive up, I watched the inner framing and woodwork arrive up, each component of the home remaining developed.

My dad was a contractor so he did a great deal of work like that, and I was constantly all over renovating, building, painting. That was his thing — I hated it, performing the hottest guide labor you can imagine of, in the metropolis of Houston. But at the conclusion of the day, I nevertheless like the inventive element. I can arrive up with the concepts but I need any individual else to execute them.

I’m not receiving out there and picking up a hammer and developing it myself, but I can sure bring a quite fantastic vision to everyday living.

(This Q&A was evenly edited for length and clarity.)

Assistant Athletics Communications Director John Frierson is the team writer for the UGA Athletic Affiliation and curator of the ITA Men’s Tennis Hall of Fame. You can find his function at: Frierson Files. He is also on Twitter: @FriersonFiles and @ITAHallofFame.