TROY Football Hall of Famer Freddie Thomas named to University’s Board of Trustees

TROY Football Hall of Famer Freddie Thomas has been named to the Board of Trustees.

TROY Football Hall of Famer Freddie Thomas has been named to the Board of Trustees.

Freddie Thomas, a Troy University alumnus who was a member of two national championship-winning Trojan football teams, has been appointed to the TROY Board of Trustees by Gov. Kay Ivey.

Thomas’ appointment was confirmed today by the Alabama Senate. The move is part of a reorganization of Board positions for TROY. Allen Owen, who has held the board’s Area 3 position since 1988, has recently stepped down as an active member and moved to an emeritus role. Karen Carter, the Area 6 Trustee since 2009 but who now lives in the Auburn area, will take over the Area 3 spot. Thomas, a resident of Birmingham, will hold the Area 6 position.

Freddie Thomas, president of the Trojan Tailgaters Alumni Chapter, speaks during the 2015 Alumni Ball.
Freddie Thomas, president of the Trojan Tailgaters Alumni Chapter, speaks during the 2015 Alumni Ball.

Thomas, a 2015 inductee into the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame, was a member of the 1984 and 1987 NCAA Division II National Championship football teams. The unquestioned leader of the Trojans’ defense, Thomas recorded 110 total tackles as a senior in 1987 to go along with two interceptions, two forced fumbles, and two more blocks. He led a defense that allowed 14 points or less in eight games and never allowed more than 21 points.

“The University community is excited to welcome Hall of Famer and Alumni Board member Freddie Thomas to our Board of Trustees. He joins one of the most cohesive and committed university governing boards in America,” said Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr. “Freddie has been a leader on and off the field and he will make a great addition to our Board of Trustees. As a member of our National Alumni Board of Directors and loyal supporter of our sports programs, Freddie has truly been a Trojan for life, and I am grateful that he will continue to serve his alma mater as a member of the Board of Trustees.”

Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business management and administration, Thomas went on to a career in human resources, first with Rheem Manufacturing Corporation and Bose Corporation, then for 22 years as an Administrator with American Honda Motor, Co. Thomas supported HR administration for the more than 4,500-employee Honda plant in Lincoln, Ala. He retired in 2023.

“I join our entire Board of Trustees in welcoming our newest Board member, Freddie Thomas,” said Trustees President Pro-tempore Gibson Vance. “Although Freddie is new to our Board, he has a sterling legacy at Troy University. His wisdom, passion, and love of all things TROY make him a perfect addition. On a personal note, Freddie and I have been friends for almost 40 years and I can personally attest to his character and ability.”

Thomas has been a dedicated alumni volunteer for TROY. In addition to his service on the national alumni board, he has served as president of the Trojan Tailgaters Alumni chapter, was a charter member of the T-Club, and was a 2020 Alumnus of the Year.

“I had the opportunity to watch this young man throughout his playing career at Troy University, which is my alma mater as well,” said State Sen. Donnie Chasteen (R-29), speaking in favor of the confirmation on the Senate floor. “He led the Trojans to two national championships in ’84 and ’87. He’s been a great ambassador for the University and he’s been a great leader all of his life. To have him step into the role, we’re certainly proud he has received this honor.”

Thomas said he was honored to be appointed to the Board of Trustees.

“I extend my sincere gratitude to Gov. Ivey for this opportunity, and I want to also express my appreciation to Dr. Hawkins and the members of the Board of Trustees, both past and present,” Thomas said. “As a newly appointed board member, I fully recognize my responsibility to serve the citizens of our great state, along with our alumni and friends of Troy University.  As a proud TROY alumnus, I’m thankful for the chance to engage in all aspects of fulfilling the duties of Troy University. In my new role as a Trustee, I am looking forward to building relationships with current members, gaining a comprehensive understanding of the trustee’s role, and diligently meeting the needs of our citizens on this collective journey.”

The Trustees of Troy University are appointed by the Governor for 12-year terms and confirmed by the state Senate. The Governor serves as President of the Board.