For the past four summers, Ben ’99 and Susie Thomas have coached a group of 20 athletes at major universities in multiple cities in southern India. As International Directors for Athletes in Action (AIA), the pair has coached young men and women on behalf of the Campus Crusade for Christ organization. Currently, AIA has a sports ministry presence in 85 countries, on nearly 100 U.S. college campuses and on 35 U.S. professional sports teams.
Every summer, AIA sends teams of college athletes in multiple sports to compete overseas and develop their personal faith. Coach Ben Thomas was profiled in the November/December 2009 issue of “Worldwide Challenge” magazine, Campus Crusade for Christ’s bi-monthly publication. He and several other coaches are staff members with Athletes in Action, in which international coaches team up with Indian Christian coaches focused on the ultimate goal of telling students about Christ.
Through his presence on and off the field, Thomas has become a beacon of hope, faith and determination for his players. The group of aspiring professional soccer players are skillful and passionate, but had not received proper training before Thomas began working with them. He integrates his coaching philosophy of rigorous physical conditioning and hard work, along with his faith to emphasize to his players that a total sportsman must develop physically, mentally and spiritually.
Thomas graduated from Hobart College with a B.A. in economics. He was a member of the Statesmen football team all four years and studied abroad in Ecuador. Thomas received his master’s degree from the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.