Jennifer Thomas, who anchored California's backline from 1982-85, enters her 11th season as an assistant coach for her alma mater.
Thomas is linked to Cal's recognition as a national soccer power and a consistent participant in the NCAA Tournament. During her tenure as an assistant, the Golden Bears have posted a record of 128-61-20 (.660), for an average of almost 13 wins per season, and have garnered nine postseason berths.
In 2005, the program advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1988, set a school record for goals-against average (0.47) and tied Cal bests for shutouts (14) and goals allowed (11). The 2000 team recorded a school-record 17 victories (17-3-1), and the 1998 squad was Pac-10 co-champions.
From 2001-02, Thomas also served as a sideline reporter and then as a color commentator for local broadcasts of the WUSA's San Jose CyberRays.
Before returning to Cal as a coach in 1998, Thomas spent the previous four years as the athletic director at Incline High School in Incline, Nev., where she was responsible for coordinating and supervising the school's 31-sport interscholastic athletic department. While at Incline, she also acted as the soccer coordinator for the Nevada Interscholastic Athletic Association.
Prior to her duties as athletic director, Thomas founded and directed the FC Soccer Camps in Incline in 1993 and held that role until 2001. In addition to her own camp, she concurrently managed a similar camp in Incline, run by the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO).
Thomas brought five years of coaching experience with her to Cal. In addition to her duties as athletic director at Incline High, Thomas founded and coached the school's girls' varsity and junior varsity soccer teams. In 1997, she expanded her coaching responsibilities when she took over as head coach of the Sierra Nevada Soccer Club's under-19 girls' team. Thomas coached, administered and played on the Reno Rattlers in 1997.
Still an avid soccer player, she helped her over-30 club team to regional and national championships in 2003 and 2004.
An all-conference and all-region selection, Thomas graduated from Cal in 1986 with a bachelor's of arts degree in political economies of industrial societies. With
Thomas patrolling the Bears' backline, they advanced to two NCAA Tournaments and made their first of three semifinal appearances in 1984. She earned a master's of arts degree in education from Stanford in 1991 and has a USSF "A" coaching license.
Originally from Portola Valley, Calif., Thomas and Rich Meyer reside in Berkeley with their son, Wyatt. In her spare time, she is an assistant coach for her son's soccer team, the ABSC U6 Flying Ninja Squirrels.