Thomas upbeat despite winless season

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 14, 2000

LORMAN – Several signs in Jack Spinks Stadium Saturday echoed the sentiments of many Alcorn State fans and alumni – &uot;J.T. must go!&uot;

The 16-13 homecoming loss to Texas Southern was the Braves’ seventh-straight loss of the year, and has sparked several calls for third-year coach Johnny Thomas’ dismissal.

&uot;That’s the very nature of the position,&uot; Thomas said after Saturday’s game. &uot;Let the signs go up, let them talk. We have a plan, and we’re sticking with it.&uot;

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Alcorn State President Clinton Bristow made a similar statement earlier this week when he publicly said Thomas’ job was safe.

&uot;He’s very special to me,&uot; Thomas said of Barstow. &uot;He is not a person who will succumb to pressure from outside forces. We talk on a weekly basis, and right now we are continuing with our plan – to win championships and graduate these student-athletes.&uot;

Bristow said Thomas has helped improve both the grade point average and the graduation rate of the team.

As for winning championships, however, Thomas has had decidedly less success.

The Braves have not won a game since Oct. 9 of last year, a 61-0 defeat of Prairie View A&M. Twelve consecutive losses have made Thomas’ three-year record at Alcorn a less-than-stellar 8-20.

But Thomas has no plans to throw in the towel. In fact, he sounds like he’s already won a few of his planned championships.

&uot;I’m enjoying every moment of it,&uot; he said. &uot;This is the best time I’ve ever had coaching at Alcorn.

&uot;If we were losing and I didn’t see a future, it would be frustrating,&uot; he said. &uot;But we’re young. We’re improving. I can see a future.&uot;