|Height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Weight||185 lb (84 kg)|
|College||Michigan (Football, Indoor and Outdoor Track)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Awards|| NCAA Indoor 55 meter hurdles Champion (1986)|
Big Ten Outdoor 110 m hurdles Champion (1987)
Big Ten football Championship team (1986)
Junior Olympics 110 m hurdles Champion (1981)
Ten-time MHSAA Champion athlete (1980–1982)
Five-time MHSAA Champion coach (1994–1996, track; 2011 & 2012, football)
|Honors||Outdoor Track All-American (1985, 1986)|
Indoor Track All-American (1986)
Michigan High School Track and Cross Country Athlete of the Year (1981, 1982)
Detroit Free Press Coach of the Year (1998)
|Records|| Michigan Wolverines All-time Records|
Michigan Home Building Record
Thomas Wilcher is a high school athletic coach and teacher who was previously a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I track and field national champion in the indoor 55 m hurdles and a three-time NCAA All-American in track and field for the University of Michigan. Wilcher was also a running back for the Michigan Wolverines football team from 1983 – 1986. In his redshirt senior year, he was a member of the Big Ten Conference football champion team as well as a 110 m hurdles Big Ten individual champion. Wilcher was a 9th round selection (226th overall) by the San Diego Chargers in the 1987 NFL Draft.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a nonprofit organization that regulates student athletes from 1,268 North American institutions and conferences. It also organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and helps more than 480,000 college student-athletes who compete annually in college sports. The organization is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Track and field is a sport which includes athletic contests established on the skills of running, jumping, and throwing. The name is derived from where the sport takes place, a running track and a grass field for the throwing and some of the jumping events. Track and field is categorized under the umbrella sport of athletics, which also includes road running, cross country running, and racewalking.
The University of Michigan, often simply referred to as Michigan, is a public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The university is Michigan's oldest; it was founded in 1817 in Detroit, as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, 20 years before the territory became a state. The school was moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha) of what is now known as Central Campus. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the university campus has expanded to include more than 584 major buildings with a combined area of more than 34 million gross square feet spread out over a Central Campus and North Campus, two regional campuses in Flint and Dearborn, and a Center in Detroit. The university is a founding member of the Association of American Universities.
In high school, Wilcher was a Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) record-setting hurdler and four-time All-American. As an athlete, he is a ten-time MHSAA track and field champion and a two-time Michigan High School Track and Cross Country Athlete of the Year award winner.He was also a Junior Olympics champion in the 110 m hurdles and an All-state and All-American tailback in football. He was also an All-City swimmer.
The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) is a service organization for high school sports in Michigan and is headquartered in East Lansing. It is a member of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
The AAU Junior Olympic Games are the pinnacle competitions held annually by the US Amateur Athletic Union.
As of 2017 [update] , Wilcher is the head coach for the football team and the boys' track & field team as well as the physical education teacher at Cass Technical High School in Detroit. As a boys' track coach, he is a three-time MHSAA team track and field champion, and his school has also twice been the MHSAA runner up. In his role as a football coach, he is a three-time MHSAA Division 1 champion and a former Detroit Free Press Coach of the Year who has produced five players who have been selected in the NFL draft.
A head coach, senior coach, or manager is a professional at training and developing athletes. They typically hold a more public profile and are paid more than other coaches. In some sports, the head coach is instead called the "manager", as in association football and professional baseball. In other sports such as Australian rules football, the head coach is generally termed a senior coach.
American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, the team with possession of the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with the ball or passing it, while the defense, the team without possession of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs or plays; if they fail, they turn over the football to the defense, but if they succeed, they are given a new set of four downs to continue the drive. Points are scored primarily by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.
Cass Technical High School is a public high school in Midtown Detroit, Michigan, United States. It was established in 1907 and is part of the Detroit Public Schools Community District. It is named in honor of Lewis Cass, a military officer and politician.
At Detroit Central High School, in track and field, he was a four-time All-American, –1982. As a sophomore in 1980, he was the anchor of the Class A state champion 4 × 440 yard relay race team. As a junior in 1981, he won the MHSAA Class A 120-yard (110 m) high hurdles, as well as participated on the 4 × 440 and 4 × 110 MHSAA champions. As a senior, he won both the low hurdles (300 m) and high hurdles (110 m) as well as participated on the state champion 4 × 100 meter MHSAA champions. His time of 13.5 in the 110 metre hurdles was the state all class record from 1981–1986 and continues to be tied for the second fastest time in state high school history. His 1982 time of 13.6 seconds continues to be the fastest 110 meter hurdles time ever run at the MHSAA state championship meet. Although not officially recognized as a record due to metric conversions from yards to meters, the 1982 time of 41.7 in the 4 × 100 is considered indistinguishable from the official record and is described as a notable performance according to state records.ten-time MHSAA champion (three-time team, four-time relay, three-time individual) and Michigan High School Track and Cross Country Athlete of the Year award winner in both 1981 and 1982. He led Detroit Central to three consecutive state MHSAA Class A championships as a team from 1980
A relay race is a racing competition where members of a team take turns completing parts of racecourse or performing a certain action. Relay races take the form of professional races and amateur games. Relay races are common in running, orienteering, swimming, cross-country skiing, biathlon, or ice skating. In the Olympic Games, there are several types of relay races that are part of track and field.
Conversion of units is the conversion between different units of measurement for the same quantity, typically through multiplicative conversion factors.
The yard is an English unit of length, in both the British imperial and US customary systems of measurement, that comprises 3 feet or 36 inches.
Nationally, he was the number one ranked scholastic high hurdler as a junior as well as the number one ranked long (low) hurdler as a senior and was undefeated by high school athletes in both years in the respective events. As a junior, he won the 1981 AAU Junior Olympic Games in the high hurdles (By some accounts he was an AAU Junior champion in 1982). seconds and 13.28 (wind-aided). In addition to his track accolades, he was an All-state and All-American tailback and All-City swimmer.As a senior, he won the International Prep and Golden West low hurdle races. He was timed as fast as 13.48
The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is an amateur sports organization based in the United States. A multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports and physical fitness programs. It has more than 700,000 members nationwide, including more than 100,000 volunteers.
Some sources regard his 13.2 time in the 1982 AAU Junior Olympic Men 110 Meter Hurdles Young event a national record as of May 2013.As of 2009, the AAU considered it to be the national record. However, as of 2013, AAU regarded Booker Nunley's July 27, 2008 13.41 time to be the junior Olympic record for the newly named 17-18 division (which was said to be formerly known as the Young division).
Wilcher was recruited to the University of Michigan by Thomas E. Moss, Sr., the former Deputy Chief of Police for the Detroit Police Department. seconds in the 110 meter hurdles came at the 1985 Penn Relays where he was also the event champion. He was the Big Ten winter sports athlete of the week in January 1986 for his hurdling performance.In 1986, he won the NCAA indoor 55 meter hurdles Championship, and he placed fifth in the NCAA outdoor 110 m hurdles with a time of 13.57, earning both indoor and outdoor track & field All-American honors. He had also placed third in the outdoor 110m hurdles in 1985 earning All-American honors. In 1987, he was the outdoor Big Ten Conference 110 meter hurdles champion and earned first team All-Big Ten honors. Wilcher holds numerous Michigan Wolverines records in the high hurdles including both the team indoor 60 meters (converted), team outdoor 110 meters, and Michigan indoor track building records. Wilcher's personal best and team record time of 13.52
In February 1985, Wilcher was involved in an altercation stemming from an intramural basketball game. Thomas Wilcher incurred penalties of 72 hours of public service deferred sentence, US$429 court costs and restitution in Ann Arbor District Court.
Wilcher, who wore #27 as a 6-foot (1.8 m)185-pound (84 kg; 13.2 st) Wolverine, redshirted as a true freshman in 1982 and played sparingly in his second and third seasons. He earned varsity letters in football as a redshirt junior and redshirt senior for coach Bo Schembechler. He totaled 758 yards (693 m) rushing and eight touchdowns as a tailback in the same backfield as Jamie Morris. However, he never caught a pass. In his final season, he totaled 397 rushing yards and six touchdowns. That year, he was a member of the 1986 Big Ten Conference football champions who went on to the 1987 Rose Bowl, but accumulated no statistics in the Rose Bowl. He accumulated statistics in eleven of the thirteen games played and started twice. He had also started one game in 1985. In his best games, he rushed for 104 yards (95 m) and a touchdown on 16 carries in a 34–3 win against the South Carolina Gamecocks football team on September 21, 1985, and he rushed for two touchdowns and 74 yards (68 m) in Morris' absence in a 34–17 win against the Wisconsin Badgers football team on October 4, 1986. His touchdowns were the first two in what became Schembechler's 200th victory. On September 27, 1986, his seven-yard (6 m) touchdown run cemented a homecoming victory against the Florida State Seminoles football team by putting the team up 20–10 with 1:27 remaining.
A 9th round selection, Wilcher was the first member of the San Diego Chargers 1987 draft class to sign with the team.After graduating, Wilcher competed for the University of Chicago Track Club while training for the United States Olympic Trials for the 1988 Summer Olympic Games. On May 8, 1988 he won the Jesse Owens Classic with a 110-meter high hurdles time of 13.70. At the Olympic Trials on July 23, 1988 at Indiana University Track and Field Stadium, his second-round heat included Arthur Blake, Jack Pierce, and Greg Foster who placed first, second and third respectively as well as Tony Dees.
Wilcher is the current football head coach at Cass Technical High School in Detroit, where entering the 2011 MHSAA semifinals, the team had compiled a 99–56 (.639) record and competed in the MHSAA Class-A playoffs ten times since he became head coach in 1997. He was the 1998 Detroit Free Press High School Football Coach of the Year, with his Detroit City Class-A runner-up team. At Cass, some of his athletes have included Vernon Gholston, and Marko Cooper, who was 1999 All-USA second team. One of the first star players he coached (as an assistant coach) was future Michigan Wolverines-leading rusher and NFL-athlete Clarence Williams. In 2007, Joseph Barksdale was the Detroit News' No. 1 Blue Chip Prospect, Parade All-American, U.S. Army All-American Bowl Participant (East Roster), USA Today All-USA High School First Team, The ESPN.com 150, Rivals.com Top 100 for 2007, Scout.com Hot 100 for 2007, and SuperPrep All-American. William Campbell also made the NFL.
The 2010 team went 12–1 and lost 24–21 in the MHSAA Division I semifinals, when they fumbled on the 6-yard line on second-and-4 with less than a minute remaining. The 2011 team won the state Division 1 championship by 49–13 margin against Detroit Catholic Central High School at Ford Field with a freshman quarterback, Jayru Campbell, who also plays basketball and runs track. The 2012 team won the third consecutive district championship and qualified for the state Division I championships. The 2012 team defended their championship by defeating Detroit Catholic Central High School 36–21 at Ford Field in a rematch of the prior year's state championship match. The 2011 and 2012 state champions had a defensive backfield with future Michigan Wolverine and NFL players Jourdan Lewis and Lano Hill. In 2013, Detroit Catholic Central upset Cass Tech in the state semifinals by a 28–0 score. The following year, Saline High School upset Cass Tech in the 2014 state semifinals 30–15. In 2015, Cass tech reached the 2015 MHSAA Division 1 state final game at Ford Field, but lost to Romeo High School after losing starting quarterback Rodney Hall earlier in the playoffs. In 2016 with Hall at quarterback, Cass Tech went undefeated to win the MHSAA Division 1 state championship over Detroit Catholic again. In 2017, Cass Tech lost to West Bloomfield High School in the MHSAA Division I semifinals.
Wilcher is also the Cass boys' track and field coach. The team won the MHSAA Class A track and field championships in 1994, 1995, and 1996 under Wilcher. The team was state runner up in the MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 1 Championships in 2001 and 2002.Among the track athletes he has trained are NCAA All-American Pierre Vinson, and current Michigan Wolverine, Nick McCampbell.
|Year||Rnd.||Pick #||NFL team||Player||Pos.||College||Conf.|
|2008||1||6||New York Jets||Vernon Gholston||DE||Ohio State||Big Ten|
|2011||3||92||Oakland Raiders||Joseph Barksdale||OT||LSU||SEC|
|2013||6||178||New York Jets||William Campbell||G||Michigan||Big Ten|
|2017||3||92||Dallas Cowboys||Jourdan Lewis||CB||Michigan||Big Ten|
|2017||3||95||Seattle Seahawks||Lano Hill||S||Michigan||Big Ten|
Vernon Gholston did not play football at Cass until his sophomore year and did not play on defense (at linebacker) until his senior year. . .He thought I was actually somebody’s father walking down the hall. He asked me whom was I looking for. I was like, 'Nobody. I go here.' He really couldn't believe it. He kind of grabbed me at that point and put me on the team."Gholston did not even see himself as a football player when he was in high school, yet he has gone on to become an Ohio State Buckeyes football defensive end, the 2007 Big Ten Conference Defensive lineman of the year and the sixth overall selection in the 2008 NFL Draft. According to Gholston, "It was between periods and I was going to my next class. .
A similar, although more indepth, story of the recruitment of Gholston has been told by Wilcher: "He was walking down the hall with a Bible in his hands," Wilcher said. "He was already built like a grown man; he was all cut up (like a bodybuilder). I asked him, 'Can I help you sir?' He looked around to see who I was talking to. I said, 'Are you looking for a student?' He said, 'No, I go here.' He said he was a freshman. I thought he was lying." When the defensive coordinator kicked Gholston off the team for being too soft, Wilcher went to his house and dragged him back into the program: "I told him I didn't care if he wasn't tough enough, he was going to play football for me," Wilcher said. "I knew that he had desire to play. My only regret is that I didn't put him at running back. I didn't know how fast he was."
|Cass Tech Technicians (Detroit Public School League - Division I)(1997–2011)|
|1997||Cass Tech||7–3||4–1||Class AA Pre-Regional|
|1998||Cass Tech||7–2||4–1||Division I District|
|1999||Cass Tech||7–2||4–1||Division I District|
|2000||Cass Tech||9–3||3–2||Division I Regional|
|2003||Cass Tech||6–4||3–2||Division I Pre-District|
|2006||Cass Tech||7–4||3–2||Division I District|
|2008||Cass Tech||8–3||3–1||Division I District|
|2009||Cass Tech||6–4||2–2||Division I District|
|2010||Cass Tech||12–1||4–0||Division I Semifinal|
|2011||Cass Tech||11–3||5–1||Won Division 1 State Championship|
|Cass Tech Technicians (Detroit Public School League - West)(2012–present)|
|2012||Cass Tech||12–2||6–0||Won Division 1 State Championship|
|2013||Cass Tech||12–1||–||Division I Semifinal|
|2014||Cass Tech||12–1||–||Division I Semifinal|
|2015||Cass Tech||12–2||–||Division I Runner-up|
|2016||Cass Tech||14–0||–||Won Division 1 State Championship|
|2017||Cass Tech||10–3||–||Division 1 State Semifinalist|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title or championship game berth|
Wilcher and his wife Crystal have a son, Kishon, and daughters Kaila and Kiersten. As of November 2013 [update] Kishon is a redshirt sophomore cornerback for the Toledo Rockets. Kaila was the 2012 Detroit Public School League champion in the 300 meter dash.
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