Floyd Thomas has had a career in high school athletics in West Virginia that most people can only dream about.

As a coach at both Tygarts Valley and Elkins, Thomas won two state titles in baseball and was honored several times as Coach of the Year in both baseball and football.

In March, Thomas was honored as West Virginia Retired Coach of the Year at halftime of the Class AAA basketball championship game at the Charleston Civic Center.

The former Stoco High and Coal City native will be returning to his roots, attending the Coal City Reunion next weekend.

“I’ve been to three or four of them,” Thomas said. “I’ve been there a lot of times, and my class, a bunch of them go to that. We’re just going to meet down there.”

Thomas, a 1963 grad of Stoco, played football, basketball and baseball during his prep career.

After high school, he played semi-pro baseball in Indianapolis until he was drafted into the military. Upon the completion of his service to his country, Thomas moved to Michigan, working in an auto factory and attending junior college.

In 1971, he transferred to Marshall University and played football that season. After graduating in ’73, Thomas was hired as head football and baseball coach at Tygarts Valley.

That was the beginning of a standout career.

During his tenure at Tygarts Valley, Thomas’ baseball teams posted a 150-53 record. From 1975-85, he collected five sectional titles, two regional titles and coached two undefeated state champions during a time when both Class AA and Class A were combined in one class.

“I just ran into a bunch of good kids,” Thomas said. “The record I posted was unbelievable. We won 42 straight and two state championships in baseball.”

His titles came in 1978 and 1979 and Thomas was named baseball Coach of the Year in ’79.

In football, he coached Tygarts Valley from 1974 to 1987. He finished with a 77-54 record, taking the Bulldogs to the state playoffs in 1985, which earned him PVAC Coach of the Year honors.

Reviving the Elkins football program, though, was Thomas’ biggest accomplishment. He took over a team that had lost 23 in a row in 1990 and took the Tigers to the playoffs in just three years. He was named NCAC football Coach of the Year in both ’91 and ’92. He compiled a 30-41 record.

“That was probably my most satisfying thing,” he said. “I wound up getting the football job and also serving as athletic director. The first year, we won one. Then, we went 6-5. Then, we went 8-2 and made the playoffs. I gave it up after seven years and retired.”

Thomas first went to Elkins as athletic director, a position he would hold until retiring in 2000. He said the move to Elkins was more economical than sports related.

“I lived in Elkins and it was closer. That was about it.”

He coached the Tigers’ baseball team for three years, compiling a 51-27 record, winning two sectional titles and being named NCAC Coach of the Year in 1986.

Thomas’ career was capped when he was named NCAC Administrator of the Year in ’96 and inducted into the Randolph County Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.

Thomas and his wife, Charlotte (Demyan) Thomas, attended Stoco at the same time, but they didn’t meet until years later.

“We went to school together and she was a year behind me,” he said. “I don’t remember ever talking to her when I was in school. When I came home from the service, she had moved into the house next door to me. That’s how I met her.”

They married while Thomas was attending Marshall. They have two children, Seth A. Thomas of Elkins and Christy R. (Thomas) Wilson of Ijamsville, Md., and a grandson Thomas W. Wilson.

“We were married when I was in school,” Thomas said. “If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have done anything.”

Thomas hasn’t slowed down much since retiring, hitting the golf links on a regular basis.

— E-mail:

rjett@register-herald.com

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