North Carolina High School Athletic Association

Legendary Coach, Teacher and Administrator Dave Thomas Passes Away

Goldsboro, NC – David Allen Thomas Sr., 80, passed away peacefully on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, at his home.

David was born in Lawrence, Kan. on Aug. 3, 1937, to the late Clarence Alan Thomas and Sarah McCall Thomas. He graduated from East Carolina University in 1960 with a degree in physical education, received his master's in education from State University of New York in 1972, and graduated from East Carolina University in 1982 with his administrator principal certificate and his curriculum instruction specialist certificate. In 1996, David was certified as an athletic administrator by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.

He was a talented multi-sport athlete, successful teacher, and ultimately fulfilled his calling as a warm, loving and gifted coach. After completing his degree in education, David became a beloved high school teacher, coach and athletic director with Wayne County Public Schools, where he devoted his life to children, with over 42 years of service. He also served as an athletic official for all sports in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association for many years. David, also known as Coach Thomas, enjoyed the opportunities given to him by helping to impact the lives of so many young people.  [In August 2017, Coach Thomas was named in the 2017 NCHSAA Hall of Fame Inductee class.]

His life was filled with humility, kindness and a love for others that he displayed every time he smiled. He dedicated his life to serving his family unselfishly and to serving his God. He was a member of Stoney Creek Free Will Baptist Church where he served as a deacon and was a member of the Ambassador Sunday School Class. David was always on call to give an encouraging word or helping hand. He enjoyed life especially with his wife, children and grandchildren.

A service to celebrate David's life will be held on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, at 1 p.m. in the sanctuary of The First Pentecostal Holiness Church, 1100 The First Church Road, Goldsboro, N.C., with his pastor, Rev. Barry Williamson officiating. Interment will follow in Wayne Memorial Park. The family will receive friends on Wednesday, Jan. 24, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Seymour Funeral Home and other times at his home.

David is survived by his wife of 56 years, Patricia McEwan Thomas; daughter, Sherrie Lee of Raleigh; sons, David Thomas Jr. and wife, Lisa of Angier, Paul Thomas of Laurinburg, Greg Thomas and wife, Wendy of Fort Walton Beach, Fla. and John Thomas of Morehead City; sister, Jane Pierce and husband, David of Winston-Salem; and grandchildren, David Thomas III and wife, Chelsea, Scott Thomas and wife, Abbey, Hannah Lee, Jordan Lee, Brooke Lee, Cori Thomas, Gregory Thomas and Laci Thomas; and great-grandchildren, Chloe Thomas, Brennon Thomas, Baylee Thomas and Owen Thomas.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in his memory to Stoney Creek Free Will Baptist Church, 752 Stoney Creek Church Road, Goldsboro, N.C. 27530.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at