Sierra Lutheran High School has named longtime area football coach Shane Thomas as its new varsity head coach.
Thomas, who is the area coordinator for the Douglas Youth Football League, comes to Sierra Lutheran with 21 years of coaching experience, including four years as the defensive coordinator at South Tahoe High School where he also played in high school. The Vikings advanced to the playoffs three of the four years Thomas served as the defensive coordinator.
“I have been praying for some time how the Lord would choose to use me in this next part of my life, and this has been an answer to my prayers,” Thomas said. “I see this opportunity as a Falcon to challenge our student-athletes to develop into consistent state-level competitors.”
Thomas, who will continue in his role with DYFL, will join the SLHS staff effective Jan. 1.
“Coach Thomas’ love of football and his enthusiasm to guide our football program to the next level is evident when you visit with him,” Assistant Principal Kitty Murphy said. “Sierra Lutheran will be blessed by the time coach Thomas is willing to dedicate to building a strong football program.”
After a standout high school career at South Tahoe where he played middle linebacker and fullback, Thomas went on to serve four years in the U.S. Marine Corps as a reconnaissance Marine. After retiring from the Marines, Thomas began coaching, and quickly became known for his passion, and his success in developing young people and building programs.
“As Falcons we will focus on building a four-year program that incorporates life skills and values necessary for our student-athletes to become successful people,” Thomas said. “We will focus on character building and effective decision-making in a team atmosphere.
“Using positive encouragement, we will emphasize the importance and value of every student-athlete’s individuality, while teaching inclusion for all. Our desire is to challenge every student-athlete to realize his full potential, while building self-esteem, confidence, leadership and positive, lifelong memories.”
Thomas will be formally introduced to the team and join the school staff after Christmas break.
“I will be working closely with the administration to begin the planning of a strength training/conditioning program and a 3-day-a-week classroom event teaching new terminology and football strategy,” Thomas said.
“We will also be hosting two, week-long summer camps. The first camp will emphasize teaching necessary skills for offensive and defensive linemen, and the second camp will teach offensive/defensive backfield positions with multiple coverages.”
The Northern Nevada native is a 14-year Carson Valley resident who, with his wife, Ginny, has five children, including son Max who was a freshman on this year’s SLHS varsity team.