Littlefield Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Jimmy Thomas died suddenly Monday morning after announcing Sunday evening that he was in the hospital.
"In what easily was the most painful day of my life, I find joy in trials and tribulations in things I don't understand. I believe God answered prayer yesterday is and developing his plan. Thanks for all your prayers and well wishes," Thomas wrote on Twitter, referencing Jeremiah 29:11.
Thomas wrote earlier in the week that he was hospitalized due to bilateral blood clots in both lungs.
Thomas is the second high school head football coach in the region who has died within the last week. Anton Head Football Coach Matt Hoover also died suddenly in early November.
Coming to Littlefield
Thomas had served as Littlefield's head football coach and AD since last year, the Avalanche-Journal reported at the time of his hiring in February 2021.
“They’ve had a lot of tradition and I’m going to be honest,” Thomas said after he was announced as the finalist for the job. “I’m honored and kind of humbled to be chosen to lead this program.”
The Fritch native, and West Texas A&M graduate, led the Bushland Falcons to a 47-25 record over six seasons, according to A-J archives. That included a Class 4A Division II state quarterfinals appearance in 2017 and a Class 3A Division I regional round finish with a 12-1 record in 2019.
Thomas resigned from coaching at Bushland in June 2020, moving away from football to accept an administrative position at Channing. The high school didn't have football, so there was nothing to fill the Friday-night lights void that Thomas enjoyed for 16 years as a head coach — 24 years total. It only took him a semester to realize how much he missed the competition, he previously told the A-J.
With his youngest son, Jared, who graduated from Bushland in 2019, at Texas Tech when Thomas was hired at Littlefield and his in-laws living in Clovis, New Mexico, the opportunity at Littlefield was a case of timing working out perfectly.
“I think this was all part of God’s plan,” Thomas recalled at the time. “I’m not going to take anything for granted, I can tell you that, when it comes to coaching. I think there was probably just a plan to ease us in, but man, I’m super excited.”
This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Littlefield AD, head football coach Jimmy Thomas dies suddenly