LITTLEFIELD, Texas — Littlefield Independent School District Athletic Director and Head football coach, Jimmy Thomas, died after a “brief illness,” according to Littlefield ISD Superintendent, Mike Read.

“There wasn’t probably many handfuls of coaches that didn’t know who Jimmy Thomas was,” said Kale Steed, Founder and Editor-in-chief of Press Pass Sports. “He was highly respected throughout the state.”

He was beloved in Littlefield ISD where he worked for the past two years.

“He was a football coach, he was a mentor to kids, he was a mentor to us peers,” Steed said. “He’s just a wonderful man.”

A coach for over 25 years, Thomas had plenty of stops across Texas including Sanford-Fritch High School, Pettus High School, George West High School, Llano High School, Bushland High School and Danbury High School with current Lubbock Coronado High School Head football coach DJ Mann.

“Coaches are gonna come and go,” Mann said. “There’s always going to be somebody to coach football games, but the type of man that he was went above and beyond. He was always willing to help people, and I think that’s what people are going to miss the most is just the type of person he was, more so than how many games he won and lost.”

Before coming to Littlefield, Thomas spent six seasons at Bushland. His successor, Josh Reynolds said Thomas came to support him and the Falcons last Friday night in their playoff win against Jim Ned High School.

“He texted me Saturday how proud he was of the coaching staff, the kids and me and everything, and then I texted him back Saturday,” Reynolds said. “ Sunday night, I called him and we just started talking football like we always did.” 

Reynolds was bouncing game plan ideas off of Thomas for his upcoming game against Brock High School, but could tell something was off.

“I kept hearing a beeping sound in the background, and I finally asked him, ‘What’s that noise?’ and he said, ‘well, I’m in the emergency room,’ and he had a great spirit about him,” Reynolds said.

Thomas’s wife, Kaylia Thomas, posted online that her husband was being treated for blood clots in both lungs.

The following day, Thomas wrote on Twitter:

“In what easily was the most painful day of my life I find joy in trials and tribulations in things I don’t understand. I believe God answered prayer yesterday and is developing his plan. Thanks for all your prayers and well wishes. Jeremiah 29:11.”

Littlefield ISD Athletic Director and Head football Coach, Jimmy Thomas

That would be his last post.

“He was gonna call me back Monday, and obviously, we never got to have that conversation, but I sure do feel blessed to have had that conversation with him Sunday night not knowing that it was gonna be our last on this earth.” 

“I just feel fortunate and blessed to call him a friend.”