Fighting Irish bid farewell to conference after 18-year membership that yielded 126 BIG EAST championships, including record-setting 13 crowns in 2005-06.
During his stint as the men?s golf coach, Thomas coached Notre Dame to three Midwestern Collegiate Conference Championships (1988-89, ?89-?90, ?94-?95) and three BIG EAST titles (?95-?96, ?96-?97, ?97-?98) while earning conference coach-of-the-year honors in ?88-?89, ?96-?97 and ?97-?98).
Thomas also was instrumental in establishing Notre Dame?s women?s program, along with then-women?s golf coach and current administrative assistant Tom Hanlon.
A member of the Indiana PGA Hall of Fame, Thomas has been named Indiana PGA Player of the Year three times (1970, 1973, 1977) and served as the president of the Indiana PGA for two years. He also has won a record seven Indiana Seniors titles.
In January of 1994, Thomas was inducted into the PGA master professional program.
Thomas was selected by the Indiana Professional Golfers Association as Section Teacher of the Year in 1990.
Prior to becoming Notre Dame?s director of golf, Thomas spent 47 years as a golf professional including 32 years (1965-97) at the Elcona Country Club in Elkhart, Ind.
In 1996 he was named the director of instruction at the Golf Academy at Blackthorn Country Club which is located just outside South Bend.
A three-time U.S. Section Seniors Champion, Thomas has qualified for several PGA Championships and two U.S. Opens.
After serving as a B-17 navigator with the Eighth Air Corps during World War II, Thomas accepted a football scholarship to Purdue University.
A four-year member of the golf team, Thomas helped Purdue win the 1950 Big Ten championship and place second at the NCAA Championship. He graduated from the Purdue School of Pharmacy and served as a pharmacist for 12 years while playing professionally.
A member of the Elston High School Hall of Fame, Thomas received honorary membership into the Notre Dame National Monogram Club in June of 1999. He and his wife, Barbara, have five children.
BIG EAST Coach of the Year