Dakota College Football Coach Mathis Thomas Competes in American Flag Football League 2018 U.S. Open of Football Tournament (courtesy of AFFL)
Mathis Thomas Jr. is competing in the American Flag Football League 2018 U.S. Open of Football Tournament. This will be a single-elimination tournament with 128 teams of amateurs competing to advance to the finals and will match up against four teams of former professional athletes, including Michael Vick, Chad Johnson, Nate Robinson and Carlos Boozer. Thomas is a 2013 Dakota College (DCB) alumnus and the current wide receiver coach for the Lumberjacks. "It is a pretty cool honor to have the opportunity to play among legends of my generation and stay current with the trends of college and professional standards of football. I see it as being able to bring back field insight as we prepare for the upcoming season and still enjoy the game on the field, what's better than to be active in the sport and coach my players at the same time," Thomas said.
While Thomas is new to the collegiate coaching world, he is no rookie when it comes to field action. In 2011, his first year of college football, Thomas held the University record for most yards in a game (218 yards), single season rushing record, two times voted Mon-dak Conference Player of the Week, and ranked 4th running back in the nation by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). Before transferring to Graceland University football program, he led the lumberjacks as head captain. In his final years of college football (fall 2013), Thomas ranked 32ndin Division 1 Rushing Yards in the Heart of America Conference and 3rdAll Team Conference, among other athletic accolades.
To date, Thomas is helping to lead the Lumberjacks to victory on and off the field. As a second year coach, Thomas' players are racking up yards and GPA's. "I am truly living my purpose," Thomas said with excitement. "My career is based upon producing results on and off the field so that my players will learn the importance of working hard, staying determined and accomplishing every goal that is set in front of them. I get to see them develop as young men and athletes." When Thomas is not watching film, reading, studying stats and recruiting players, he's giving back to the youth in Orlando, Florida where he grew up and sharing life skills with his players.