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2024 Stagg Award Winner Series: Bob Thomason
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2024 Stagg Award Winner Series: Bob Thomason

Bob Thomason, '72, along with John Noce, '53, will receive the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award of Merit when the Pacific Athletics Hall of Fame ceremony takes place on Friday, Feb. 23 in a special reception and dinner in the Janssen-Lagorio Gymnasium on campus.

The award recognizes alumni who participated in athletics at Pacific and achieved distinction in their professional lives through notable examples of integrity, dedication, idealism and team spirit that Coach Stagg personified and to which Pacific is dedicated.

"I was caught off-guard by that," Thomason said. "First of all, I want to make everyone around me also gets the recognition. I didn't come to Pacific to just get awards, but when I get them, it's a great special feeling. I feel very honored."

Thomason served as the Pacific men's basketball head coach for 25 years (1988-2013). He led the Tigers to five NCAA tournament appearances (1997, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2013) and was named Big West Coach of the Year five times. Thomason experienced the NCAA Tournament as both a player and a coach as he was a key player on the 1970-71 team that earned a spot in the 1971 tournament.

Originally from Concord, Thomason is a 1967 graduate of Clayton Valley High School. He learned basketball through a role model in his dad, Bob.

"My dad was a basketball coach," Thomason said. "When your dad is a coach, you're also playing with him. I remember talking to my dad all the time about his games. I got that basketball background. I was very fortunate to have a dad that was a great basketball coach. He was a great inspiration."

Although drawing attention from several schools, Thomason's visit to the Pacific campus pushed his recruitment into becoming a Tiger.

"I was being recruited by a bunch of schools, but when I made a visit to Pacific, I just fell in love with the campus and how connected the team was with the school," Thomason said. "It turned out to be the perfect place for me."

Thomason went on to a fine career as a shooting guard at Pacific, earning all-conference honors as a senior while averaging 17.2 points and shooting 85.5% from the free throw line. Thomason is seventh on Pacific's career list, making 180 of 217 free throw attempts for 82.9% accuracy. He is 11th on the career scoring list with an average of 15.3 points per game.

Among other Thomason highlights as a player was his team-high 19 points in the 1971 Western Regional against a Jerry Tarkanian-coached Long Beach State team that downed the Tigers 78-65. He scored a career high 36 points against Loyola Marymount and added 31 against UC Santa Barbara during his senior campaign. Thomason earned his bachelor's degree in 1972 and his master's degree in 1985, both from Pacific in physical education. While at Pacific, he lettered three times in basketball and golf. He was a first team All-WCAC basketball pick as a senior.

Thomason is currently a part of the Pacific men's basketball ESPN+ broadcasts, serving as an analyst alongside play-by-play announcer Zack Bayrouty.

"It's been really fun," Thomason said. "Working with Zack has been awesome. He makes it fun. Watching Pacific basketball has always been a joy to me."

Thomason and his wife, Jerri, reside in Stockton. His two sons, Scott and Jeff, graduated from Pacific in 1999 and 1997, respectively.

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