The Limoges, France native is the first cross country Eagle to earn the prestigious award
The women's XC head coach sat down to discuss the team's performance in Terre Haute
The women's cross country team placed 5th overall and earned an at-large bid to NCAAs
The women's cross country team heads to New York Friday to compete in the Northeast Regional
The Eagles will compete in Earlysville, Va. this Friday
Randy Thomas is entering his 19th year as the program director of the women's cross country and track and field teams at Boston College. He spent the previous 15 seasons as the director of both the men and women's track and field programs.
Thomas has been a part of the Boston College program for 23 years. His past and current successes speak for themselves as he has guided Eagle athletes to 44 All-American awards over the past 19 years. The most recent All-American award under Thomas came in 2010-11, when Caroline King finished in 30th place at cross country nationals and took seventh at the indoor mile championship.
The 2010-11 seasons saw the Eagles win the New England Cross Country Championship, earn two All-ACC honors behind their lowest-ever conference point total, collect three All-Northeast Region accolades and return to the NCAA Cross Country Championship as a team. On the track, Thomas' contingent became the first women's squad from BC to win an event at the Penn Relay Carnival - the College Women's 4xMile Championship of America. King captured an indoor (mile) and outdoor (800m) conference championship en route to competing in two national meets. Standouts Caitlin Bailey and Jillian King won the half mile crowns at the ECAC and New England Championships, respectively, and also advanced to the NCAA East Regional meet.
The former world record holder has guided the women's cross country squad to 13 NCAA Championships in the past 20 seasons. Additionally, Thomas has trained athletes who qualify individually for the national event. In 2006, Mallory Champa earned All-America awards for her 38th -place finish at the NCAAs. Other notable athletes, including Laurel Burdick, Maria Cicero and Jennifer Kramer all gained All-America status after placing in the top-ranks at their respective NCAA Championships.
The 2001 women's team defended their NCAA Region I team championship prior to finishing sixth in the national event. His team's success on the cross-country trails led his peers at the United States Track and Field Association to honor him as the 2001 National Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year. In 2000, his women's cross-country team captured the Big East Championship and went on to finish fourth in the NCAA meet. This placing represented the highest finish at a national championship for a Boston College women's team in any sport in school history.
Thomas also helped bring the first national championship for women's athletics to the Heights, coaching Shannon Smith to the 2001 NCAA Championship in the 3,000-meter run.
Thomas has mentored student-athletes to 20 All-American nods in track and field since 1994. In 2008, Tiana Riel earned the honor for her 11th-place finish in the pentathlon at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Her 4,017 points was a personal best and second on BC's top performance list.
During the outdoor season, Kasey Hill placed seventh in the heptathlon at the 2008 outdoor NCAA Track and Field Competition in Des Moines, Iowa. Hill earned 5,666 points during her All-American performance which set a personal best and Boston College record.
Overall, Thomas, who served exclusively as the schools cross country coach during the first seven years of his tenure, has produced a total of 50 All-America selections, three national junior champions and one Pan-American Games gold medalist.
Before accepting his current position, Thomas was an assistant cross country and track and field coach at Massachusetts, his alma mater. The first-ever Division I All-American in UMass cross country and track and field history, Thomas was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1982.
Thomas, who received his master's degree in business administration from Boston University, resides in Medway, Mass., with his wife, Marcy, and their son, Ian, who currently runs on the BC track & field team.