Coach Dewitt Thomas, Founder of Alabama Striders, not only knows but has experienced the endless advancements of committing to a team sport. As a child in Bloomington, IL, the young Dewitt performed as a track and field All-State, earning him a track scholarship to Indiana State University. Coach Thomas found it imperative to share his knowledge and passion for the sport to other urban youth. After relocating to Bessemer, Al in 1982, he founded and created the Marvel Striders, which would later be renamed the Alabama Striders. Coach Thomas took every advantage of being able to mold these young athletes. While working to provide his team with every opportunity to compete at all levels, traveling nationally and internationally, he also made sure the team developed physically and mentally while being mentored in a firm athletic environment. Coach created the keys to success. Through the Alabama Striders, Coach Thomas has trained hundreds of Alabama State Track and Field Champions, Age-Group All-American, and Age-Group National Individual Champions. In addition, Coach has sent twenty athletes to the NCAA All-American Track and Field Competition. Not to mention the countless regional, local, and national Age Group team titles. But nothing beats an Olympic Gold. In 2002 Vonetta Flowers, an Alabama Striders Alumni won the 2002 Olympic Gold in Bobsled. She went on to contribute her success to the sound foundation and understanding of principles Coach Thomas provided in her youth. Like many, you too may think this was the "Crown and Glory" of Coach's career, but you would be wrong. Althea Thomas, daughter of Coach Thomas, continued the long time success of the Track and Field family by becoming a twenty time State Champion, a NCAA All-American, a member of three NCAA Team Championships, and the current Assistant Head Coach at Clemson. Despite training and watching the success of athletes like Bobby Humphries and Sam Shade (UA football greats), Golden Coachmen (MSU), Curtis Perry (LSU), and Felicia Howard (Northeast Louisiana), Coach continues to work diligently helping the next generation of athletes meet their full potential on and off the track.  

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