The Dunbar High School ward calls for prayers as the Tigers’ highly decorated track and field coach Guy Thomas is in “critical condition” while battling COVID-19 at a Lee County hospital, confirmed Director Carl Burnside.
“Coach Thomas is in critical condition. This is a very difficult time for the family and students at Dunbar High School,” said Burnside. “I want for anyone who believes to keep him and his family in thoughts and prayers.”
Thomas, an exceptional student education teacher in Dunbar, is a fixture in the running community in southwest Florida through his work with the Tigers track and field and cross-country teams and his AAU Olympia Track Club.
He is one of four finalists for the third time for the Jeff Sommer Memorial Coach of the Year Award from The News-Press / Naples Daily News, named after Thomas’ friend and the late Hall of Fame Estero athletics / cross-country trainer in his career.
Thomas has been battling COVID-19 for the past few weeks and his condition has deteriorated dramatically earlier this week, Burnside said.
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In addition to winning several Lee County Athletic Conference, county and regional championships, Thomas has coached numerous state champions such as hurdlers Lucheyona Weaver and Leonard Mustari and sprinter Seneca Milledge, among others.
That season, Thomas ‘boys’ team finished third in the state with two gold and two silver medals, three courtesy of Mustari. Dunbar’s girls finished sixth in Class 3A, with Weaver winning two singles titles and the 4X100 relay taking silver.
“He’s been looking forward to next season,” said Burnside, referring to a conversation he had with Thomas at the end of the track season.
Thomas also helped set up the cross-country program on a team that had only three runners who qualified for the state for three consecutive years.
One of the most respected high school and AAU track coaches in the country, Thomas interned for Adidas’ training program last summer, where he worked with some of the best track athletes in the world, including world-class sprinter Noah Lyles.