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Brent Thomas Reflects on His 34 Years With the Bears
A veteran assistant coach who's been at Missouri State alongside Bears' head coach Keith Guttin since he took over the baseball reins in 1983, Brent Thomas is one of the senior assistants in the Missouri Valley Conference as he enters his 32nd year on the MSU staff.
Thomas has been the Bears' first base coach for six Mid-Continent Conference championship years, MVC titles in 1996, 1997, 2001, 2003 and 2009, and all eight of the Bears' trips to the NCAA Tournament. In addition to coaching, Thomas's duties include academic evaluation of players and game administration, as well as working with hitters and outfielders.
Under Thomas's guidance, the 2012 Bears set a new program standard for sacrifice hits, while last year's squad posted a school-record .972 team fielding percentage in support of a pitching staff that ranked among the leaders in all of Division I baseball with a 3.12 team ERA.
Thomas stayed with the program after his days as a Bear outfielder in 1981 and 1982. He came to MSU after earning MVP honors twice at Crowder College in Neosho, Mo.
A native of Marshfield, Mo., Thomas played for the Bears' unbeaten MIAA Southern Division champs in 1981 and the 1982 team which closed the Bears' Division II days with a regional title and a trip to the NCAA World Series in Riverside, Calif.
Thomas hit .380 for the 32-12 MSU team in 1981 as the Bears came within a game of winning the MIAA crown and advancing to NCAA play. He hit .352 his senior year as Missouri State was 31-14 and won its final Division II regional, competing as an independent.
Thomas was a four-year baseball starter at Marshfield and also played football and basketball. He was a four-year all-conference pick in baseball and two-time all-leaguer in football. Coach Thomas also coached the Marshfield American Legion team two summers.
He and his wife, Debbie, have a son, Evan, and a daughter, Allie.