Nigel Thomas joined the Battling Bishop staff as assistant men's basketball coach in the fall of 2014. With over 11 years of collegiate coaching experience, Thomas possesses a vast knowledge of recruiting, film exchange, on-floor coaching, opponent scouting, game-day preparation, travel coordination, player development and monitoring of academic progress.
"I am thrilled to have Coach Thomas join us here at N.C. Wesleyan," said veteran head coach John Thompson, who is entering his 20th season at Wesleyan. "I have gotten to know him over the past several years and am very impressed with his coaching methods, his people skills and his work ethic. Coach Thomas will be a tremendous asset to our program and a great mentor for our players."
Thomas will enter his first season on the Bishop sideline after previously serving three years as head coach at Langston University, his alma mater. An NAIA affiliate located in Langston, Okla., Thomas took the reigns of a Lions program that won a combined eight games its previous two seasons and proceeded to eclipse that total with 11 wins in his first year at the helm. Under his direction, Langston reached the Red River Conference Tournament in all three of his campaigns, including a 2013-2014 season that saw the Lions post an 11-9 record in league play.
Off the court, Thomas' Lions were also successful, achieving a cumulative team grade point average of 3.0 in each semester of his three years as head coach. Prior to taking over, he served as an assistant coach to Greg Webb, whom he played under as a point guard from 1999-2003. Thomas is confident his Langston experience will prove to be beneficial in his new position.
"Having coached on the collegiate level for 11 years, the last three as a head coach, I feel that I have an understanding of what is needed and expected on a daily basis," he stated.
Before his return to Langston, Thomas served five seasons as assistant coach at Prairie State College. Joining the Pioneer staff in June of 2003, Thomas functioned as the program's recruiting coordinator and developed a skill instruction program. Additionally, he has worked with some of the top coaches in the NCAA, including Oklahoma State Head Men's Basketball Coach Travis Ford and Duke Head Men's Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Thomas earned his B.A. in Health, Physical Education and Recreation from Langston in 2003 and is a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, Black Coaches Association and is the co-founder of the Elite Skills Basketball Academy, which was established in Park Forest, Ill. in May of 2008. In addition to his coaching duties, he will also head up Wesleyan's SAAC and Community Service efforts.
Thomas is married to the former Carrie Smith, and the couple have two daughters: Jaidyn and Jazelle. They will now reside in Rocky Mount, and the Chicago native is eager to get started at Wesleyan.
"I am blessed, grateful and humbled to have been presented this opportunity to work, learn and grow under a coach like John Thompson," he said. "My wife and our two daughters are so excited to be joining the Battling Bishop family."