Gulf Coast hires veteran D1 softball head coach Scot Thomas

PANAMA CITY, FL (WJHG/WECP) The Gulf Coast softball program has its new head coach, and it's a man who comes in with plenty of experience on the Division One level.

Scot Thomas, who guided the Virginia Tech softball program for 23 years, introduced Wednesday as the new Gulf Coast head coach.

Gulf Coast A.D. Mike Kandler Wednesday introducing Scot Thomas as the next head coach of the Lady Commodores.

Coach Thomas moves south from Virginia area, where he spent 23 years leading the Virgina Tech University softball program. He led the Hokies to the College World Series, winning 794 games there with 16 winning seasons and 8 NCAA tourney appearances.

He was let go by Tech after back to back losing seasons in 17 and 18. After taking a year off, he started looking again, and says when the beach beckoned, he jumped at the chance to come south! Even though he didn't have as many job offers as he might have hoped one he started the process. The coach says he put his faith in the Lord and tht led him here.

"Started just narrowing things down for me, and narrowing it and narrowing it. And then there was one job that came open and I thought 'this is it' and that didn't happen. In the back of my mind I had three places I thought I could go to. One was maybe the Charlotte area which wasn't that far away from where I live. One was the Nashville area, which my daughter wanted to go to, Belmont. That job had come open. But the other thing was going to the beach. So I was like from an enviroment standpoint that's where I wanted to be, so I'm excited about that."

Thomas says the coach he succeeds, Beth Wade helped him make his decision and has continued to help in the process!

"It helped me a lot." Coach Thomas said "And for her to give me guidance on what she's been doing, what her expectations were for the year. And just the process of how to do business here. She had a lot of good things to say about her recruiting class, she's excited about where the program was. So these are the things that we were talking about. And I told her to keep her phone hot, because I'll be calling quite a bit."

Coach Thomas says it will take him about two weeks to move to Bay County, and once he gets back and moved in, he'll pick up the recruiting trail left behind by coach Wade.

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