By John Frierson
James Thomas is a great deal far more than a monitor and industry mentor. The new Georgia assistant, who will oversee the Bulldogs’ jumpers and blended-functions college student-athletes, is also a husband, father … and a dwelling designer. “I like to design and style things from scratch,” he mentioned.
Thomas has joined new Director of Monitor and Field Caryl Smith Gilbert‘s staff members soon after coaching numerous NCAA champions throughout an fantastic ten years at Texas Tech. Alongside with guiding these nationwide champions and dozens of All-Us residents throughout his 20 years as a collegiate mentor, Thomas has also created and been the inventive force driving 5 properties.
Throughout a recent Swift Chat, Thomas talked about his times as an athlete, his excitement at coming to Georgia, his fascination in houses, and a great deal a lot more. Here’s some of what he experienced to say:
Frierson: Soon after a fantastic operate at Texas Tech, what is it like relocating to a new faculty, new town, and a new application?
Thomas: It is really form of continue to a whirlwind. Every thing took place so brief, and when you have a spouse and children that you uproot and you move you say goodbye to one emblem, 1 university, and then you begin seeking to master the names of an operation at UGA that’s as opposed to any other, with so significantly assist and people today in area to assistance our pupil-athletes and coaches.
It truly is been a whole lot, I pretty much have to have some flashcards to maintain up with the names and information and facts mainly because there are so numerous people today in the UGA household that engage in a section in all the accomplishment. It really is been a journey so considerably previously.
Frierson: What events did you compete in through your keep track of and area times?
Thomas: I was a jumper and a decathlete. I begun off as a substantial school type performing long, triple and higher, all the jumps, out of west Houston, the town of Katy, Texas. I did that increasing up and then I went to university and moved to the decathlon. I would tampered with it a tiny bit my initial three several years, just trying some various activities, but following I received accomplished with basketball I had a comprehensive fifth 12 months just to aim on keep track of. Which is when I went heavy on the decathlon. I had an amazing mentor and he brought me up and showed me the way.
Frierson: In the decathlon or heptathlon, which is the toughest function for scholar-athletes to pick up on and do effectively? Or is it various for every person?
Thomas: It can be a minimal distinct with all people. Some persons are naturals — me, I grabbed the javelin. I was an ex-soccer participant and I could often throw well. I grabbed the jav and it did not acquire me extensive to determine out how to toss a spear in a spiral.
What you find out is the commonalities of athletics and the way points connect like a puzzle. If you are lacking some pieces of the puzzle then you you should not get that complete picture. In the decathlon and a great deal of these functions, they’re like a function of art, a puzzle, and it can be our work to make absolutely sure we have all the items for men and women to put that image together.
That is almost certainly the toughest aspect, due to the fact of the commonalities. If you might be getting problems in a single place, like your sprinting publishing, your running form, that mistake is going to be the exact error across the board in a extensive of other occasions. You at times have to start off from the floor up and get young males and women of all ages to have an understanding of that this is how you have to do specified issues. There are sure points, specialized factors, that you want to place in area instantly in purchase to have results short and extensive term.
Frierson: What is one thing you could try to eat each and every day and under no circumstances get weary of it?
Thomas: Which is a hard a person. It has to start off with a consume — I am a tea person, I am a scorching tea guy, I don’t drink coffees. I could do tea at almost certainly 100 levels, 110 degrees. I adore warm tea, and it really is typically a environmentally friendly or some variety of herbal tea.
As for some sort of food items that I could do just about every working day, I am a seafood person. It can be spicy, it can be shrimp, it can be fish — I like matters from the sea. All of my household is from Louisiana, New Orleans, and so I grew up a seafood male. All of our things is Cajun, spicy, factors like that. When people today request, do you like spicy foodstuff? Not seriously, except if it can be Cajun. If it really is Cajun, it can be as spicy as it can be.
Frierson: How are you in the kitchen?
Thomas: You know what, I like to feel I’m rather great. My son (Jordan), who’s 12, he is the future culinary arts kid. He is been cooking breakfast for the family since he was most likely close to 10, waking up, scrambling eggs, cooking bacon, turning the oven on — he’s fairly innovative in those regions.
Between him and my spouse, they appreciate the kitchen area. I created a great outside grill and that’s my justification for acquiring my person toys, get the pit smoking, and do things like that. From some crawfish boils to some grilling on the pit, I appreciate that.
Frierson: Do you have a resourceful facet? Is there anything at all inventive you do or want you could do?
Thomas: I like to structure things from scratch. I will not know what it is but I have been a portion of assisting design observe services, I’ve constructed five homes, two of them crafted from scratch. 1 of them begun out on a sheet of paper that I did on a airplane. I hired an architect and ultimately uncovered a builder that could execute the vision.
I like developing. I have often had a resourceful side and I look for that way to generate the eyesight of what you want. My future significant challenge I imagine I want to do is probably get an more mature property in Athens and it’s possible a close by area, intestine the full factor out and see what I can do with any individual else’s generation, see if I can nevertheless make it my have.
Frierson: That was a extremely sudden respond to. Did you examine architecture? How do you even know how to get started designing your have dwelling?
Thomas: I look back to when I was a young child, 4 or 5 many years old, and we moved out to Houston, to the suburb of Katy. They crafted a house from scratch they took everything they experienced, every little thing they owned, and poured into making a $110,000 property for us to be equipped to be in a person of the nicest school districts in the metropolis.
We went there and each individual solitary day I desired to there (to the house even though it was becoming crafted) with my dad. I viewed each individual one piece of concrete getting poured, I viewed the basis arrive up, I viewed the inner framing and woodwork occur up, just about every part of the dwelling being designed.
My dad was a contractor so he did a ton of work like that, and I was often around renovating, making, painting. That was his point — I hated it, undertaking the most popular guide labor you can believe of, in the city of Houston. But at the close of the day, I nonetheless like the resourceful part. I can appear up with the thoughts but I have to have any individual else to execute them.
I am not having out there and choosing up a hammer and setting up it myself, but I can absolutely sure carry a quite superior eyesight to lifestyle.
(This Q&A was evenly edited for duration and clarity.)
Assistant Sporting activities Communications Director John Frierson is the staff members writer for the UGA Athletic Association and curator of the ITA Men’s Tennis Corridor of Fame. You can locate his perform at: Frierson Documents. He is also on Twitter: @FriersonFiles and @ITAHallofFame.