Macon Mayhem chooses assistant Leo Thomas as head coach

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) –  Leo Thomas is the Macon Mayhem’s new head coach and director of hockey operations.

Thomas, an assistant under coach Kevin Kerr the last two seasons, becomes the first and only black head coach in the Southern Professional Hockey League. He’s also the only black head coach in north American professional hockey.

“I didn’t realize it until like yesterday,” Thomas told reporters after a news conference Wednesday at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. “Like, wow, this is a pretty big deal. When I started playing at that young age, I dealt with so much stuff being colored and stuff like that. I can’t even express the joy and happiness I have right now.”

The 36-year-old Toronto, Ontario native, who played 13 seasons of professional hockey, was approached by other teams after the 2017-18 season but decided Macon was the right fit.

“That was kind of like my plan to hopefully take over this team, but I mean, things happen,” he said. “Not to take anything away from those other teams, but I felt comfortable here. I’ve been here for two years and helped build this team where it is now. It was a no-brainer, really.”

“With the foundation that was built over the past three seasons, we knew that Leo was the best candidate to build on the success we have had and take Macon Mayhem hockey to even higher levels,” Mayhem Assistant General Manager Blair Floyd said. “Leo knows the expectations we have here and the culture we want to build in our locker room, and we believe he will do a tremendous job as our head coach and director of hockey operations.”

Thomas replaces Kevin Kerr, who resigned after three seasons to take over the ECHL’s (formerly known as the East Coast Hockey League) Greenville Swamp Rabbits.

 

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(478) 745-4141 ext. 310 Tucker Sargent joined the 41NBC news team in April 2012. He hails from "The Great State of Alabama," as he calls it, but you won't catch him saying "Roll Tide!" Tucker grew up near Auburn, before moving to north Alabama. He graduated from Danville High School in 2007 and loves to return to the Tennessee Valley any chance he gets. He moved back south to Troy, Alabama after high school, where he graduated from Troy University in 2011 with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism. He interned in Huntsville at WAAY-TV before joining 41NBC. His passion is sports, and his favorite teams are the Auburn Tigers and Troy Trojans. On the weekends you can catch Tucker watching college football on Saturdays and NASCAR on Sundays! He's proud to call middle Georgia home for now and could always use a story idea from you, so don't hesitate to get in touch with him!