Chris Thomas Named Gannon Director of Athletics Media Relations
Chris Thomas, Director of Athletics Media Relations
Chris Thomas has been named Gannon Director of Athletics Media Relations it was announced Wednesday afternoon.
Thomas arrives at Gannon after spending the last 11 years at Fairmont State (W.Va.) University of the Mountain East Conference (MEC), including the last eight years as the Sports Information Director. He served as the primary media contact for 17 NCAA Division II athletics programs and was responsible for all content on the athletics website. Thomas also produced and edited all press releases, game programs and publications for the department and served as game day statistician for home contests. In addition, Thomas led the charge for Fairmont State's social media accounts and content.
"I would like to thank (Gannon Director of Athletics) Lisa Goddard McGuirk and (Gannon Associate Director of Athletics) Dan Teliski and the selection committee for the opportunity to join the athletics staff at Gannon University," said Thomas. "I am thrilled to join the Gannon and Erie communities and look forward to working alongside the campus and athletics administration to promote and work with the university's 24 athletics programs and over 700 student-athletes."
Since 2015, Thomas has covered and assisted in the promotion of 20 All-Americans, 33 all-region honorees and 14 Conference Players of the Year. He also successfully promoted Mackenzie Harrison as the 2017 NCAA Division II Volleyball Player of the Year and women's basketball standout Sierra Kotchman was voted College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America Team Member of the Year this past spring for her performance on the court and in the classroom.
In addition to promoting three programs that reached NCAA postseason play in 2016-17, Thomas served as the host sports information director for the opening round of the NCAA Division II football championships and the NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Atlantic Regional - both hosted by Fairmont State. Thomas also promoted the Fairmont State men's basketball run to the NCAA Division II Championship Game in Sioux Falls, S.D. that winter.
"We are extremely excited to welcome Chris to Gannon University and Erie, Pennsylvania," said Teliski. "The search committee took a detailed and meticulous approach to ensure it found the right fit for our student-athletes and staff. Chris was that right fit. He brings experience, knowledge, and relationships to our campus. It became evident throughout the search that our student-athletes' experience would be better because of Chris' skills and ability. Having the ability to bring someone into the Gannon Athletics media relations office with his experience will benefit all of our student-athletes."
Thomas helped six Fairmont State student-athletes garner all-america honors during the 2016-17 academic year. Both the football and men's basketball teams were ranked in the top 25 nationally.
In the fall of 2014, Thomas was instrumental in Fairmont State's transition to Sidearm Sports and helped the department launch a completely re-designed website. He led a second re-design of the website in 2018. In addition, he helped promote Fabian Guerra's one-handed catch as the No. 3 play on the SportsCenter Top 10 plays (10/4/14) and as the MEC Play of the Year. During the summer of 2018, Quincy Redmon's 96-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown against UVa-Wise was also named the MEC Play of the Year. The play was liked or shared 9,159 times on social media during a five-day period.
In addition to his sports information role at Fairmont State, Thomas has also served as the Director of Communications for the National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association (NCATA) since the summer of 2017. With the NCATA, Thomas manages the association's website and leads the weekly and annual awards processes each spring. He also leads the communication efforts for the annual NCATA national championships.
Thomas graduated from Fairmont State with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in December 2011 and earned a Master of Science in Sport Management from West Virginia University in December 2013.
A member of CoSIDA, Thomas currently serves on the D2SIDA Atlantic Region men's basketball poll committee as a national and regional voter. He is also a national voter for the D2Football.com weekly top-25 poll.
In addition to serving as the chair of the MEC Committee of Sports Information Directors since the summer of 2019, Thomas also served on the NCAA Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) for women's tennis in 2019 and 2020. He switched over to the men's tennis RAC committee during the spring of 2021.