By Aleana Branigan
Concordia Lutheran High School 2006 alum Austin Thoms plans to make a splash this year as the head basketball coach and the director of annual giving. The Wave was a former nickname for Thoms given to him by his classmates based upon his middle name, Waverly.
Thoms graduated from Concordia in 2006, following that he found himself at Concordia University in Seward, Neb., until 2008. After he left Concordia University, he transferred to Taylor University in Upland, Ind. He graduated from Taylor in ’10 with a bachelor’s degree for business administration and management. Thoms went on to achieve his master’s degree in human resource management and services from Hawaii Pacific University in ’12.
Thoms was the graduate assistant coach of the men’s basketball team at Hawaii Pacific University for about two years. Following that he became the video coordinator of the women’s basketball team at University of Nebraska-Lincoln for three years.
Lastly, before becoming the head coach of the boys basketball team at the high school, Thoms was the assistant coach of the women’s basketball team at University of Northern Colorado for one year.
“(Coaching) has always been a passion of mine to be able to use athletics and ministry to make an impact in people’s lives. To be able to use our gifts and talents that our Lord has given us,” Thoms said.
Thoms’ official title is Director of Annual Giving. With this position, Thoms manages and oversees the Cadet Fund. This money given by donors provides need-based opportunities for students and faculty.
This upcoming basketball season will be filled with new culture, player-coach based relationships, instill competition, establish mental toughness and selflessness.
“We’re going to be a rather inexperienced bunch. (We) are only 15 percent of our minutes played last year and 12 percent of our scoring. It’ll be exciting to see which the players step up to fulfill the roles that we need to be as competitive as possible.”
Thoms plans to give back to the school through the basketball team. The Wave will definitely cause a tsunami upon rival schools during the basketball season — bring your umbrellas.