Jamaican track and field coach Victor 'Poppy' Thomas to be enshrined in 2023 USTFCCCA Coaches Hall of Fame

By Sports Desk August 11, 2023

Jamaican track and field coach Victor Thomas is to be enshrined into the USTFCCCA Coaches Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2023. The United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced the news Thursday about Lincoln University track & field head coach Victor Thomas, a 14-time NCAA Division II champion.

Thomas, who has guided Lincoln's women's track & field program to nine NCAA Division II Outdoor and five NCAA Division II indoor titles, has coached athletes nearly 1,000 All-American performances and has been named the National Coach of the Year five times in his 22-year career.

The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association has named Thomas the MIAA Coach of the Year 10 times, and he was the 2004 Heartland Conference Coach of the Year.

Under the leadership of Thomas, the Blue Tigers have won 95 individual and 41 relay national titles and have recorded 671 United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Region awards.

A 16-time USTFCCCA Regional Coach of the Year honoree, Thomas has led LU's women's and men's track & field programs to 11 total MIAA championships and finishes among the top three of the NCAA Division II Championships 28 times. Between the years of 2003-2007, Lincoln won an unprecedented five-straight NCAA Division II Women's Outdoor Track & Field Championships, and, in 2020, the LU men were ranked No. 1 in the country heading into the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships, which were ultimately cancelled due to COVID-19.

In addition to their tremendous success in the field of competition, Thomas' athletes have also been stellar in the classroom. Since Lincoln re-joined the MIAA in 2011, over 200 Blue Tigers have made the MIAA Academic Honor Roll, and LU athletes have been the recipient of more than 50 MIAA Scholar Athlete Awards. Nine athletes have been named Google Cloud/CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, and 11 have earned spots on the Google Cloud/CoSIDA Academic All-District first team. Two Blue Tigers have been named the USTFCCCA Division II Indoor Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and the Lincoln women's outdoor track & field team was selected as the USTFCCCA Scholar Team of the Year in 2017 and 2018.

Due to the tremendous success, the Blue Tigers have enjoyed under Thomas' direction, the Lincoln University Track & Field Program was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2013. Thomas himself was enshrined in the Drake Relays Hall of Fame in 2012. In 2021, Thomas was enshrined in the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.

The 2023 USTFCCCA Coaches Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Presented by REKORTAN, will be held in Denver, Colo. on Tuesday, December 12.

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