Lauderdale County
Sports Hall of Fame
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JoAnn S Thomas


Long before Title IX was enacted, she was working to bring opportunities for junior high school girls to participate in sports. She started school teams in volleyball, gymnastics, cross country and track and field during the early 1970s. She coached those teams without compensation for the first seven years. In all, her teams won 24 city, area or state championships. Among her other achievements are Kellogg’s Women’s Alabama Junior High Gymnastics Coach of the Year, Alabama Junior High Gymnastics Coach of the Year, being the second woman to serve on Alabama High School Board of Athletics, and prepared girls in special education to participate in Special Olympics.  She served on the Florence and state parks and recreation boards. As a City Councilwoman in Florence, she helped secure funding for several recreational purposes such as Deibert Park, Skateboard Park and the Blackberry Trail Golf Course.