Friends gathered at Cody Park Monday evening for a going away party for Hershey girls’ basketball coach Jeremy ThomasHe will be leaving to become a middle school principal at Eudora, Kan.
Thomas came to Hershey in 2008 after graduating from Wichita State University. He was hired as junior high and high school assistant boys’ basketball coach.
Then, for the next three years, he was the business teacher, head girls’ basketball and boys’ golf coach.
In 2012, he became the Activities Director and Assistant Principal. “With the new job, I was still able to keep coaching girls’ basketball,” Thomas said.
He took the basketball team to state in 2012 and 2013, finishing third in 2013. His teams won two Southern Platte Valley Conference tournament championships and made two trips to district finals.
“I remember when we went to state in 2013, determined to win a championship. We had big banners in the gym and felt like we had to win,” he said. “But when we lost the semifinal game and seeing the girls come back and win the third-place game, I knew this was more than about winning championships. But It was huge, winning the first state tournament game ever for Hershey girls’ basketball. I will always remember it.”
Also, he will miss the hype, excitement and rivalry with St. Pat’s.
“It was always a focal point each season,” Thomas said.
Thomas said when he and his wife first came to Hershey they were on a two-year plan.
“We moved here because my wife got a job as a speech therapist at the hospital,” he said.
He said their original intention was to move back closer to their families but they fell in love with Hershey.
“The school kind of raised me as an educator and as a coach,” Thomas said. “A lot of people helped me along the way but former Principal Mike Troxel influenced me the most. In every aspect, I credit everything I learned to him. What a great man, watching him display the passion he had for students. I learned it is all about the kids.”
“It’s been a great nine years and we are sad to leave but at the same time excited for the new adventure.”
He said he will miss coaching.
“It will be really hard when November comes around, I will miss it but will cherish the extra time with my family,” he said.
Thomas is married to Carly, his wife of 11 years and has two daughters, Shirey and Chazley.