Paul Thomas (basketball)

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Paul Thomas
Saint Mary's coach Paul Thomas in 2016.jpg
Thomas in 2016 at San Jose State.
Sport(s) Women's basketball
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Saint Mary's
Conference WCC
Record 232–146 (.614)
Biographical details
Born (1962-10-28) October 28, 1962 (age 55)
Creighton, Nebraska
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1985–1988 Wayne State (NE) (asst.)
1985–1988 Pender HS (asst.)
1988–1990 Hamline
1990–1994 Cal Poly Pomona (asst.)
1994–2006 Cal Poly Pomona
2006–present Saint Mary's
Head coaching record
Overall 468–304 (.606)

Paul Bernard Thomas (born October 28, 1962)[1] is the women's basketball head coach at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, California. He has also served as head coach at Cal Poly Pomona and Hamline University.

Early life[edit]

Paul Thomas began playing basketball in Creighton, Nebraska. He would attend Creighton High School, where he played forward. While at Creighton, Thomas was made an all-state forward and named the 1981 Bulldogs Most Valuable Player.[2]

After high school, Thomas would spend the next two years at Midland Lutheran College in Fremont, Nebraska, then retired from basketball and transferred to Wayne State College to complete his education and pursue a coaching career.[3] He completed his bachelor's degree in 1986 and master's degree in physical education in 1988. While at Wayne State, Thomas also served as a student assistant for the women's basketball team and as an assistant coach for the Pender High School girls' team.[2]

Coaching career[edit]

In 1988, Thomas entered his first head coaching position at Hamline University, an NCAA Division III school in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Hamline went 1-24 in his first season (1-19 MIAC) and 0-25 (0-20 MIAC) in 1989-90.[4]

Seeking a fresh start, Thomas headed back to the assistant coach ranks at Cal Poly Pomona, where he would serve the next 16 years. In all four seasons that Thomas served as assistant coach, Cal Poly Pomona would win the CCAA Championship. After four seasons, Thomas was promoted to head coach. Over the next 12 years, Thomas would compile a 235-108 record. Thomas would lead the Broncos to five additional CCAA Championships and back-to-back Division 2 National Championship titles (2001 and 2002). He would reach the Division II NCAA Tournament eight out of the 12 seasons with a 14-6 postseason record. He recruited and coached two National Players of the Year, six First Team Kodak All-Americans, four CCAA Players of the Year and 15 First Team All-Conference players all while winning the NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year and NCAA District 8 Coach of the Year in 2002.[2]

In 2006, Thomas moved up the ranks and joined Saint Mary's College, becoming the program's eighth women's head coach. To date, the Gaels have made numerous WNIT berths, and in 2011, they placed second in the WCC Women's basketball tournament behind Gonzaga.[5] In 2015, Thomas was selected as one of three WCC coaches to be named co-coach of the year, along with Pacific Tigers coach Lynne Roberts and Gonzaga Bulldogs coach Lisa Fortier.[6]

Thomas resides in Concord, California with his wife and their three children.[7]

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Hamline Pipers[8] (Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) (1988–1990)
1988–89 Hamline 1–24 1–19 11th
1989–90 Hamline 0–26 0–20 11th
Hamline: 1–50 (.020) 1–39 (.025)
Cal Poly Pomona Broncos[9][10] (California Collegiate Athletic Association) (1994–2006)
1994–95 Cal Poly Pomona 10–15 3–7 6th
1995–96 Cal Poly Pomona 14–13 6–4 T–3rd
1996–97 Cal Poly Pomona 22–8 8–2 1st NCAA D-II Second Round
1997–98 Cal Poly Pomona 18–11 8–2 1st NCAA D-II First Round
1998–99 Cal Poly Pomona 23–6 16–4 3rd NCAA D-II Second Round
1999–2000 Cal Poly Pomona 26–3 19–1 1st NCAA D-II Second Round
2000–01 Cal Poly Pomona 27–3 20–2 1st NCAA D-II Champion
2001–02 Cal Poly Pomona 28–4 19–3 1st NCAA D-II Champion
2002–03 Cal Poly Pomona 13–14 11–11 6th
2003–04 Cal Poly Pomona 23–7 17–5 2nd NCAA D-II Third Round
2004–05 Cal Poly Pomona 20–8 15–5 T–2nd NCAA D-II First Round
2005–06 Cal Poly Pomona 11–16 8–12 7th NCAA D-II First Round
Cal Poly Pomona: 235–108 (.685) 150–58 (.721)
Saint Mary's Gaels (West Coast Conference) (2006–present)
2006–07 Saint Mary's 14–14 8–7 4th
2007–08 Saint Mary's 15–17 6–8 5th
2008–09 Saint Mary's 11–19 7–7 T–4th
2009–10 Saint Mary's 21–10 12–2 2nd WNIT First Round
2010–11 Saint Mary's 19–13 10–4 2nd WNIT First Round
2011–12 Saint Mary's 22–11 11–5 4th WNIT Second Round
2012–13 Saint Mary's 23–11 11–5 T–3rd WNIT Quarterfinals
2013–14 Saint Mary's 23–10 11–7 T–4th WNIT Second Round
2014–15 Saint Mary's 23–11 13–5 T–3rd WNIT Quarterfinals
2015–16 Saint Mary's 24–8 14–4 2nd WNIT First Round
2016–17 Saint Mary's 20–13 13–5 3rd WNIT First Round
2017–18 Saint Mary's 17–9 10–5
Saint Mary's: 232–146 (.614) 113–59 (.657)
Total: 468–304 (.606)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. ^ "Women's Basketball Coaches Career". NCAA. Retrieved 25 Sep 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "Paul Thomas Named Head Women's Basketball Coach at Saint Mary's College". WCC. Retrieved August 9, 2006. 
  3. ^ "Paul Thomas". Cal Poly Pomona. Archived from the original on June 26, 2006. Retrieved November 18, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Women's Basketball - Midkota and MIAC Races 1974- present". Concordia College Minnesota. Retrieved April 21, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Women Zags Zap Saint Mary's 72-46, Advance to Big Dance with First Game at McCarthey". Gonzaga. Retrieved March 7, 2011. 
  6. ^ "BYU's Morgan Bailey named Player of the Year; Lisa Fortier (Gonzaga), Lynne Roberts (Pacific) & Paul Thomas (Saint Mary's) share Coach of the Year honors". 2015-03-03. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-03-31. 
  7. ^ "Paul Thomas". Saint Mary's College of California. Retrieved November 18, 2016. 
  8. ^ "MIAC Women's Basketball Recordbook". Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Retrieved November 16, 2016. 
  9. ^ CCAA yearly standings
  10. ^