Tim Hanson, Sports Information Director
CLAREMORE – Rogers State Director of Athletics Chris Ratcliff announced that Yolanda Thomas has been named the head coach for the RSU women’s soccer program, becoming the fourth head coach in the program’s history.
“We are excited to announce Yolanda as the next head coach of RSU women’s soccer,” Ratcliff said. “During the search process, Yolanda stood out in a very strong pool of applications. Her commitment and passion for women’s soccer was apparent from the start, and she is a terrific fit here at RSU. Yolanda showed us in the process that she is the right coach to keep the successful RSU women’s soccer team going in the continued upward direction.”
Thomas comes to RSU after serving three seasons as an assistant coach for the University of Tulsa’s women’s program under head coach Kyle Cussen. She served as the recruiting coordinator, travel coordinator, director of player development and academic and sports performance liaison. During her time at TU, Thomas coached five all-conference honorees, including the 2016 American Midfielder of the Year in Rachel Thun. Thomas helped the Golden Hurricane total 24 wins during her tenure as an assistant coach, including a 13-6-1 mark in 2015.
“I’m excited and honored to be named the head women’s soccer coach at RSU,” Thomas said. “I think the program is in a great spot with what Coach Scott Parkinson did in his two years, and I’m excited to take it to the next level. I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead the RSU women’s soccer program. Thank you to Chris and the hiring committee for giving me this opportunity.”
Before her time at TU, Thomas recorded a 38-8 record in four seasons as the head coach at Edmond Memorial High School. She led EMHS to a 2014 Oklahoma State runner-up finish, the program’s first state championship appearance in more than a decade. Thomas totaled 15 all-state selections in her four years and coached 11 players who went on to play collegiate soccer.
Thomas, who holds a US Soccer National ‘C’ license, served as the director of the Soccer City OKC club for four years. She guided the Lil’ Kickers Child Development Soccer Program from its inception in 2012 as it was the fastest growing franchise in the United States and Canada in 2013.
In the summer of 2015, Thomas served as the head coach of the Oklahoma City FC women’s premier soccer league team, leading the team to Big Sky Conference and Southeast Regional titles along with a national semifinal appearance for the first time in program history.
Thomas played four seasons for Oklahoma State and earned a bachelor’s degree in human services in 2009 and a master’s degree in international studies in 2010. A four-year letterwinner, Thomas was a three-time NSCAA All-American and NSCAA Scholar All-America honoree. She was twice named the Big 12 Player of the Year.
Thomas takes the reins on the Hill following the departure of Scott Parkinson, who spent two seasons guiding the team. Parkinson resigned his post to join the coaching staff of the Utah Royals FC, a professional women’s soccer team in the National Women’s Soccer League.
A formal meet and greet with Thomas will be scheduled after the holiday break in early January.