11 NCAA Div. III national team championships
Thomas anchored one of the stingiest defenses in Central football history. A two-time all-America honoree in the defensive line, Thomas was the 1985 Iowa Conference MVP and a three-time first-team all-league selection. He helped lead Central to three straight conference titles and two NCAA Division III playoff trips, reaching the Stagg Bowl in 1984 and the national semifinals in 1985. The Dutch won his final 24 regular-season games. Central’s 1985 defense was especially dominant, never yielding more than 14 points in a game and posting four shutouts. Winner of the team’s O’Donnell Award as outstanding freshman, Lankelma Award as outstanding underclassman and Heerema-Schilder Blanket as team MVP, the Eddyville native became an elementary school principal at Martensdale-St. Marys and is now a middle school teacher in Pleasantville.