Thoma Will Join JBU as First Women’s Soccer Coach

Siloam Springs, Ark. (February 27, 2002) — John Brown University is pleased to announce that Joe Thoma will be returning to JBU as the first women's intercollegiate soccer coach. Thoma will begin coaching the Lady Golden Eagles during the fall 2002 semester, the first season of the new program.

"I am very pleased that the Thomas are returning to the JBU family,” said JBU Athletic Director Dr. Robert Burns. “Joe served as the assistant coach at JBU in the men's program for three years. His return to JBU is a very important step in the establishment of the women's soccer program. His personal character and heart for students are the outstanding attributes that make him a perfect fit in the mission of intercollegiate athletics at John Brown University."

Thoma is already planning for the inaugural season of women’s intercollegiate soccer at JBU, as he is currently recruiting student-athletes for fall 2002 and setting up the team’s game schedule. He is also currently finishing his obligations at Indiana Wesleyan University, IN where he has taught and coached the past three years. He guided IWU women's soccer to two national championships in the National Christian College Athletics Association in 1999 and 2000 and a trip to the NAIA national tournament in 2001.

“It will be an exciting challenge to create this new program at JBU,” Thoma said. “The men’s program has had great success over the years, so we will have high standards going in. JBU is excited about the women’s intercollegiate soccer program and wants to do it right. The resources are available to make this a quality program, and that’s going to make it fun.”

“My family and I are very excited to come back to Northwest Arkansas,” Thoma said. “We have many friends there and it’s a great place to live.” Thoma and his family will move to the area at the completion of this semester.

In addition to his coaching duties at JBU, Thoma has accepted a faculty position in the Division of Health Science as an assistant professor, and he will also serve as athletics business manager.

John Brown University is a private university with an enrollment of over 1,600 students from 45 states and 33 countries. JBU is a member of the Arkansas Independent Colleges and Universities as well as the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.