Austin Thoms out as Concordia Lutheran boys basketball coach, asked to resign after two seasons

Austin Thoms watches as Concordia Lutheran plays Wayne during a December 26, 2016 SAC Holiday Tournament game at Wayne High School. (Photo by Dan Vance of The News-Sentinel)

Austin Thoms has resigned as the Concordia Lutheran boys basketball coach, has learned. Thoms led the Cadets for two seasons, culminating in a 69-65 win over Leo in an upset during the opening round of Sectional play this season. The Cadets eventually advanced to Saturday night’s Sectional final, losing 51-44 to Angola in overtime.

Thoms related to players and parents on Saturday night that he would no longer be the coach in the program. Through a letter given to the parents, Thoms said that on February 16th, he was told by Concordia administration that they would be going in a different direction next season and was asked to resign as head boys basketball coach at season’s end.

“Without going into details, ultimately, the decision came down to administration and myself not being on the same page as the season went on with the program, both currently in the the future,” Thoms wrote in the letter.

“This is not what i wanted. I am mad, sad and confused,” he went on to say in the letter. “Our team fought hard and competed to the very end. I told them they should be proud of the growth they have shown. I truly have enjoyed coaching them and growing together. I am frustrated it is ending so soon.”

Thoms went 11-36 in two seasons at the helm of the Cadets program, winning his head coaching debut on December 2, 2016 against Canterbury before losing 13 straight and finishing his first season 3-19. Concordia’s win over Northrop in overtime during this season’s Summit Athletic Conference Holiday Tournament was his first coaching win over a SAC school. The Cadets added a win over Bishop Luers later in the year and finished 8-17 with a roster without a single senior.

Concordia finished last in the SAC in 2016-2017 and ninth of ten teams this year with a combined conference regular season record of 1-17.

Thoms was named the Concordia coach in May of 2016, taking over for longtime coach Tim Reinking. Thoms had just completed his first season as an assistant women’s basketball coach at the University of Northern Colorado but took the opportunity to come back to Fort Wayne and coach at his former high school. As a senior at Concordia in 2006, Thoms averaged 10.7 points per game and helped the Cadets win 16 games and a sectional championship.

In August of 2016, Thoms was named Director of Annual Giving at Concordia Lutheran High School. His job description on the school’s website notes that he leads the Cadet Fund campaign, the annual fund to support the high school. There is no official word on the status of his day job with the school.

When asked to comment last week on whispers of Thoms’ rumored resignation, Concordia Athletic Director Tim Mannigel declined comment.