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Paul Thomas
Paul  Thomas

Head Coach

Alma Mater:
Wayne State College, 1988


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Head coach Paul Thomas enters his second season at the helm of the Saint Mary's women's basketball program. In his first year, Thomas immediately implanted his up-tempo style to lead the Gaels to their best West Coast Conference record since the 2001-02 season.

Under the direction of Thomas, Jontelle Smith was named to the All-WCC first-team while Maija Lahde was tabbed honorable mention. Lauren Shaughnessy and Eghosa Obaiza garnered WCC All-Academic honors.

The Gaels scored over 75 points six times, including a 100-91 outburst against Northridge and a 95-73 victory over Toledo. Saint Mary's 68.5 points per game ranked second in the conference. The Gaels ranked in the top three in the WCC in eight different categories. SMC paced the conference in rebounding and was second in blocked shots. Ten different Gaels ranked in the top five in individual categories.

In his first appearance in McKeon Pavilion, Thomas led the Gaels to one of their biggest comebacks in recent memory. The Gaels used a 17-3 run and 48 second half points to upend the visiting Hurricanes in a thrilling 69-68 victory.

In the thick of the conference hunt, Thomas scrapped his usual high-flying offense on the road at San Diego. The Gaels slowed the pace of the game and pulled out a 51-47 victory, handing the Toreros their third conference loss of the season.

Paul Thomas immediately made an impact at SMC.

Saint Mary's Director of Athletics Mark Orr announced the hiring of Paul Thomas as the new head women's basketball coach at Saint Mary's College on August 9, 2006. Thomas becomes the eighth head coach in the program's 28-year history.

Thomas joins Saint Mary's after serving as head women's coach at Cal Poly Pomona for the past 12 seasons. Thomas led Cal Poly Pomona to back-to-back NCAA Division II National Championships in 2001 and 2002.

While at Cal Poly Pomona, Thomas reached the Sweet Sixteen four out of the last seven seasons, won five California Collegiate Athletic Association champions and was named the NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year and NCAA District 8 Coach of the Year in 2002.

After 12 seasons, Thomas' overall record was 235-108 (.685), and was 115-32 (.782) over the past five seasons, which included three conference championships and two national titles.

Thomas has reached the Division II NCAA Tournament eight out of the past 12 seasons with a current 14-6 postseason record. He has 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.

Prior to becoming head coach at Cal Poly Pomona, Thomas served as an assistant coach at Cal Poly Pomona for four seasons.

Thomas is a member of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's Board of Directors.

Thomas joined Cal Poly Pomona out of Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota where he served as head coach for a pair of seasons. Prior to joining Hamline, Thomas was the women's assistant coach at his alma mater of Wayne State College. He worked with the Wildcats for three seasons (1985-88) earning his bachelor's degree (1986) and his master's degree (1988) in physical education. Thomas also worked at Pender High School in Pender, Nebraska where he was a girls' basketball assistant coach.

Thomas played two years of college basketball at Midland Lutheran College (Fremont, Nebraska) before transferring to Wayne State to concentrate on coaching. He played his high school ball at Creighton High School in Creighton, Nebraska where he was an all-state forward and the team's Most Valuable Player for the Bulldogs.

Paul and his wife SueEllen reside in Orinda with their son Jacob (8) and daughters Michaela (7) and Annika (4).

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