Department of English

Ron Thomas

Ron Thomas
Director, Journalism and Sports Program/Adjunct Professor of English


Ron Thomas administers one of the few journalism programs in the nation with a sports emphasis, teaches Basic News Writing, and advises The Maroon Tiger student newspaper. During more than 30 years as a sports reporter and copy editor, his research interests include the integration of professional basketball, the lack of black head coaches in college and professional sports, and sports history in general. He is a founding member of the Sports Task Force of the National Association of Black Journalists and a member The Trotter Group of African-American columnists.

Masters in Journalism, Northwestern University

B.A. in Political Science, University of Rochester

Selected Publications
They Cleared the Lane: the NBA’s Black Pioneers (University of Nebraska Press, 2002)

“Blacks Still Rare in the Press Box.” Sport in Society: Equal Opportunity or Business as Usual? Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1996. 212-233.

“Where Are All the Black Female Head Coaches?” The Crisis. Nov/Dec 2006. 29-31.

“Home-grown Lessons of Sept. 11: Condi Rice Knows Well the Cost of Terrorism.” San Francisco Examiner, Nov. 18, 2002, 10A.

“Why So Few? Lack of Black Coaches Is Mystifying.” Marin Independent Journal, Jan. 17, 1999, B1.

“Jackie Reached Beyond the Diamond.” Marin Independent Journal, March 30, 1997,  B1.

“Racism in Sports: The Progress Is Nil.” San Francisco Chronicle, April 14, 1987, 43.

Documentary Research
“Fields of Fire.” HBO, 1995. Primary researcher for documentary film about the 1966-73 time period that revolutionized sports. Topics included coach-player conflicts regarding race or the Vietnam War, socially significant athletes such as Muhammad Ali and Billie Jean King, Title IX legislation, the controversial 1968 Olympics.

Brawley Hall, Room 106
ext. 2170