City Schools Decatur veteran Rodney Thomas was named the system’s first ever Athletics and Activities Director this week. He spent the last two years as assistant principal at Decatur ‘s 4/5 Academy at Fifth Avenue, and for nine years before was dean of students at both Fifth Avenue and its predecessor the Glennwood 4/5 Academy. He’s also the head girls’ soccer coach at Grady High.
Thomas replaces Athletics Director Carter Wilson, who’s held the job since 2000 and is retiring in July.
But the job has been restructured by Superintendent David Dude to include not just sports, but district-wide cultural arts, performing arts, band, choir and chorus.
During a recent interview, the AJC asked Thomas specifically about turning around the football and boys basketball programs. Football is coming off a 1-9 season while basketball has suffered four consecutive losing years.
“Those two sports drive the entire (athletics) system,” he said. “My vision is that you’ve got to start with the youth programs. We have all these youth groups in Decatur, and those kids have got to grow up with our system.”
Thomas, 52, was raised in Decatur, graduated in 1982 from Druid Hills High, majored in sociology at Saint Leo University and earned a Masters in education leadership at Kennesaw State University.