Thomas returns to be featured speaker of Boonville Alumni Celebration on June 26

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News
Mark Thomas, a 1975 graduate of Boonville High School, will be the featured speaker for the Boonville Alumni Celebration on Saturday, June 26 at Knights of Columbus in Boonville. Thomas stands with his wife, Judith, after being inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2020.

The Boonville Alumni Association didn’t have to look far for this year’s featured speaker.

A graduate of Boonville High School in 1975, Mark Thomas will deliver his message to Boonville alumnus on Saturday, June 26 at the Knights of Columbus, starting with social hour at 4 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m.

The cost of the event is $25 per person. 

For more information on the celebration, contact Kay Earles at 882-5085. 

With over 34 years of coaching high School and 24 as head coach, Thomas holds a overall record of 163-104. 

Thomas was also on the Boonville Pirates football team that captured the school’s first state championship in 1974. That team finished the season undefeated in Class 3. Thomas was also selected first team all-state running back for Boonville.

Of course after high school, Thomas attended William Jewell College in Liberty, where he played football and baseball from 1977-80. Thomas earned his Masters Degree from the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg in 1990.

He got his first high school coaching job in 1980-81 at Osceola High School and later coached at Jefferson City High School from 1981-85. Thomas coached the freshmen team at Jefferson City in 1981-83 and finished 17-0-1 overall. He was also varsity assistant coach in 1984 for the Jays that finished 12-2 and Class 5A state champions.

In 1985-88, Thomas was named the varsity head football coach at Odessa and finished 7-4 in 1985 and made the playoffs for the first time in school history. The Bulldogs also finished 5-4 in 1986 and 8-3 with a state playoff berth in 1987.

After coaching at Odessa, Thomas spent the next seven years at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg as an assistant coach. Meanwhile, after returning to Jefferson City in 1995-96, Thomas helped lead the Jays to a 10-2 record as varsity assistant coach. 

The following year in 1996, Thomas was named the head football coach at Boonville High School. Thomas finished 20-14 in three years at Boonville, capturing the school’s second state title in 1998 at 13-1 overall.

Thomas left Boonville in 1999 to coach the Kearney Bulldogs, where he sported a record of 50-28 with back to back state titles in 2002 and 2003. Kearney was 27-1 in those two years.

Thomas returned to Jefferson City in 2006-2010 as the assistant head coach of the Jays. Jefferson City qualified for the state playoffs in three out of the five years.

However, after spending five years at Jefferson City, Thomas was named the head football coach at Belton High School from 2011-13.

After two years at Belton, Thomas was named the head football coach at Odessa High School. In eight years at Odessa, Thomas is currently 66-26 with three state playoff appearances and one state title in 2019. The Bulldogs finished 15-0 that season, with Thomas becoming the only football coach in Missouri history to win four state titles with three different teams.

Odessa was also 9-0 in 2020 until the team had to be quarantined due to COVID-19. 

Coaching accomplishments for the Boonville alumnus include: Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2020; Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2019; Missouri Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2018; Missouri Coach of the Years in 1998, 2002 and 2019; First coach in Missouri History to win state championships at three different schools; and president of Missouri Football Coaches Association in 1999-2001.