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March 16, 2021


Ben thomas smoky mountain

San Rafael, CA: March 16, 2021 – US Sports Camps is excited to announce Ben Thomas, Associate Head Coach at the University of Oregon for Cross Country and Track and Field, as the new Director of the Nike Smoky Mountain Running Camp at UNC-Asheville, the nation’s premier running camp for middle school and high school runners.

“I’m very excited by the opportunity to be the Director of the Nike Smoky Mountain Running Camp. I began my college coaching career in the mountains of North Carolina and to return to lead this renowned camp is truly special,” says Thomas. “Asheville is an outstanding base and I’m looking forward to working with my staff and all of the campers coming to Asheville to provide a great experience full of individual development and improvement for each runner.”

Thomas is in his 3rd season with the Oregon Ducks, the 2021 NCAA Men’s Indoor Track and Field Champions. Prior to joining the U of O coaching staff, Thomas spent 17 seasons as the head cross country and distance coach at Virginia Tech, where he won multiple ACC titles and coached 74 All-Americans. Ben has also coached at the University of Georgia, Brevard College, and Appalachian State in North Carolina.

Coach Thomas has a strong connection to the North Carolina running community and brings his years of cross country and distance running knowledge, experience, and success in coaching student-athletes, to the Nike Smoky Mountain Running Camp, a camp with a long tradition and deep connection to Nike Running and the coaching philosophy of legendary Oregon coach, the late Bill Bowerman.

“As one of the nation’s top middle & long distance coaches we are absolutely thrilled to have Coach Thomas take over as Director at Smoky Mountain. Ben’s experience with the most iconic college running program at the University of Oregon, combined with his local roots, will provide each camper with an unmatched running experience,” says Tim Phelan, VP of Running/Track and Field US Sports Camps. “It’s an exciting time for the Nike Smoky Mountain Running Camp as we build on the legacy and tradition of developing athletes in the sport of running.”

The 2021 Nike Smoky Mountain Running Camp will run from July 4-9, July 11-16, July 18-23. Campers can attend one or multiple sessions, with the option to stay on campus in-between sessions. The camp continues to offer the perfect mix of learning, training, and recreation for both middle school and high school runners.

Be sure to register early by visiting www.ussportscamps.com/running/nike/nike-smoky-mountain-running-camp or call 1-800-645-3226.

About US Sports Camps

US Sports Camps (USSC), headquartered in San Rafael, California, is America's largest sports camp network and the licensed operator of Nike Sports Camps. The company has offered summer camps since 1975 with the same mission that defines it today: to shape a lifelong enjoyment of athletics through high quality sports education and skill enhancement.

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