Larry Thomas, who took over the Mountain Pointe High Track and Field program this past season, has died from brain cancer.
He was 45 years old.
“Coach Thomas has only been on our campus for a short amount of time,” said Tomika Banks, Mountain Pointe’s principal. “But in that short amount of time he made an incredible impact on our students and families.”
Thomas was hired to take over the Mountain Pointe track and field program on Jan. 18, just two weeks before the season began. He also served a full-time role as the school’s Dropout Prevention Coordinator.
“He’s an extraordinary human, and we were blessed to have him a part of our family at Mountain Pointe,” Banks said. “Our condolences go to his family at this time.”
Thomas had begun to experience headaches in late April and into early May. A trip to the emergency room on the night of May 2 resulted in emergency surgery to remove 80 percent of the tumor doctors found in his brain. However, the tumor returned.
Thomas passed away on Wednesday, June 12.
“It’s been really devastating,” said Rich Wellbrock, Mountain Pointe football coach and longtime friend of Thomas. “He was only here for a short time but had already made his footprint here.”
Thomas spent two years at Desert Edge High School as the head coach of the track and field program and one as the head freshman football coach under Wellbrock. He then went on to coach the track and field team at Copper Canyon High School before being hired at Mountain Pointe.
He was gearing up to be the head freshman football coach for the Pride this season.
The funeral for Thomas will be held on Saturday, June 22 at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church in Phoenix. A viewing will be held at 10 a.m. followed by the service at 11 a.m.
“He made such an impact on all kids and adults that came in contact with him,” Wellbrock said. “Just how he attacked life on a daily basis with a smile on his face was second to none. He left something with every person he came in contact with that they will remember forever.
“I miss him now and I’m going to miss him for a long time.”