New athletic director and basketball coach at Pacelli is familiar with the Columbus area

The new athletics director and head boys basketball coach at St. Anne-Pacelli Catholic School is mighty familiar with the Columbus area.

Eufaula native and Smiths Station resident Calvin Thomas, who has been the AD and head boys basketball coach at Stewart County High School the past four years, will replace Corry Black at Pacelli, the school announced Monday.

Black, who led the Vikings to their first boys basketball state title this year, is leaving Pacelli at the end of the school year to be dean of scholars at Emanuel Preparatory Academy in Midland. Thomas will start his new role at Pacelli on July 1.

Stewart County went 1-20 this past season. The Royal Knights under Thomas went 9-19 in 2019-20, 2-9 in 2020-21, 4-19 in 2021-22 and 3-19 in 2022-23.

In addition to playing at Eufaula High School, Thomas advanced his youth basketball career as a member of two AAU teams, the Detroit Fire and the Georgia Blazers, based in Columbus.

Thomas played four seasons at Tuskegee University, where he was selected as Most Valuable Player of the 2010 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title game as a freshman and helped his team win three conference championships.

After graduating in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in history, Thomas played semipro basketball for the Auburn Flyers and pro basketball in Spain.

Thomas started his coaching career in AAU. He then worked as head basketball coach, assistant football coach and physical education teacher at Manchester Middle School from 2017-20. He earned a physical education certificate from the Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy in 2020.

“I am thrilled that Coach Thomas is joining our Viking family,” Pacelli high school principal Carolyn Brewster said in the news release. “He is focused on the entire student-athlete — mind, body and spirit, and I know our sports programs will benefit from his passion for athletics and dedication to player development.”

Thomas said in the news release, “Pacelli caught my attention primarily because of its vibrant energy and culture. Additionally, its emphasis on family-oriented practices and servant leader mindset, where everyone works toward a greater purpose beyond themselves, further solidified its appeal to me.”