Sierra High is searching for another replacement of a highly-successful coach.
Athletic Director Andrew Lee announced in a press release Thursday that Scott Thomason has stepped down after 20 years as head coach for the boys basketball team. No reason was given for his resignation.
Thomason expressed his thanks to the Manteca community, parents, administrators and staff members in the release. He gave special kudos to longtime assistant and “true friend” Leo Griggs and the many players they coached. Among them are former standout point guards Eddie Morales and Guillermo Nunez, who returned to coach the lower-level teams.
“I want to also thank the basketball players who have played for me the past 20 years,” Thomason stated. “Their dedication and commitment to winning has truly exemplified the meaning of what a true team should be. They put their heart and soul every day to make us a championship program.”
Thomason and his wife Amber have two sons, Dru and Mac. He remains on campus as a teacher.
Lauded as one the top coaches in the region, Thomason — the son of former Stanislaus State and Pacific coach Bob Thomason — had a knack for getting the most out of his teams, encouraging unselfish and disciplined play on offense and tenacity on defense.
The younger Thomason compiled a 357-177 record at Sierra. He’s a seven-time Valley Oak League Coach of the Year, leading Sierra to six VOL championships, 17 Sac-Joaquin Section postseason appearances and four section finals. The Timberwolves’ best season came in 2014-15, when they defeated Manteca Unified rival Weston Ranch 67-51 for their first and only section crown. Sierra finished 31-3 and reached the CIF State Division III Northern California Regional Championships semifinals.
Thomason oversaw one of the most successful programs for a decorated athletics department that has excelled across the board since the school opened in 1994 and is the latest to step away from the coaching ranks after a lengthy and prosperous run.
In 2016, Jeff Harbison retired a year after guiding Sierra’s football team to the CIF State Division IV-A title. He made the playoffs eight times in his 12 years, won two VOL championships and went out as the school’s winningest coach at 88-49.
Last spring, Jack Thomson called it quits after 23 years as Sierra’s first baseball coach. Thomson, replaced by his son Travis, racked up 607 wins, ranking him No. 2 all-time in SJS history.
Sierra’s boys basketball team went 16-12 in Thomason’s final year and reached the playoffs as an at-large qualifier that beat Lathrop in a Division III out-bracket game before losing to eventual section champ Weston Ranch in the first round.
The Thomason-led T’wolves developed heated rivalries with neighboring teams over the years, which perhaps helped raise the level of competition in the area. Since Sierra captured its own section banner in 2015, Weston Ranch took the crown the following year while Manteca went on to annex the first CIF state basketball championship for the district.
Central Catholic, also from the VOL, won section titles in 2017 and 18, and Weston Ranch enjoyed a dominant run this past winter to earn an invitation to the CIF Open Division tournament.
“Coach Thomason went above and beyond in every aspect of coaching,” Lee stated. “It is rare to find a coach with this much passion and drive. Combine this with the educator’s mentality, sustain it for 20 years, and the result is an incredible impact on the school culture, the community, and the personal growth of so many young men. We could not be more thankful for everything Coach Thomason has done for the students at Sierra High.”