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University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


Greg ‘Coach T’ Thomas Named Keynote Speaker for 2018 MLK Freedom Scholarship Dinner

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (Nov. 8, 2017) – University of Central Missouri alumnus Greg “Coach T” Thomas, a Kansas City area educator, coach, businessman and author, will be the keynote speaker for the University of Central Missouri’s 2018 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Freedom Scholarship Dinner, planned for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, in the Elliott Union ballroom.

Greg Thomas
Greg "Coach T" Thomas

The author of Race In America: A Call to Heal with editor David Smale, Thomas is a graduate of East High School in Kansas City, where he was an all-conference wrestling, football and baseball athlete and two-time national qualifier in wrestling. He is a 1981 graduate of UCM, where he was a four-year letterman and MIAA Junior Olympic All-American in wrestling and was inducted as a member of the UCM Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Throughout his 35-year career in education and athletics, Thomas has coached wrestling, football and baseball, leading several teams to national competitions. In his second career as a businessman, he has been an owner of an auto parts and repair business, served as a trainer for UPS and safety coordinator in the construction industry. He also served as the Kansas City area representative for the Fellowship of Christian Athlete. He currently is employed by the Blue Valley School District and coaches football and wrestling while training athletes from the metro Kansas City area.

In his book, Thomas explains his belief that “it’s not a black and white issue—it’s an issue of the heart.” As a coach, he inspires young athletes and adults alike to achieve improvement of race relations through cooperation, understanding, open discussion and love.

Tickets for the Freedom Scholarship Dinner are from the UCM Office of Mentoring, Advocacy and Peer Support, Dockery 212, or by calling 660-543-4156. Tickets also will be available through the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce, 100 South Holden St. Individual tickets for the dinner may be purchased at the gold level for $100, the silver level for $75, or the bronze level for $50. Sponsored tables of eight also are available for purchase at the gold, silver and bronze levels.

Proceeds from ticket sales support the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Scholarships. The Freedom Scholarship Dinner has funded more than 190 scholarships totaling more than $175,000 since its inception in 1998.

Additional events for the 2018 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration include Greater Warrensburg Area Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award luncheon; the MLK Community Worship and Praise Service; the Issues Forum; the MLK Day of Service; and the Student Volunteer Fair and Community Service Blood Drive.

For full details and a schedule of events for the 2018 celebration, visit