Thomas, Bolin Earn Promotions in Athletic Communications

Aug. 10, 2016 RUSTON – Louisiana Tech Associate Athletics Director for Communications Malcolm Butler announced Wednesday that Anna Claire Thomas and Blake Bolin have both been promoted within the department. Thomas, who is entering her fifth year in the department, was promoted to the primary contact for football, men’s and women’s track and field and will share the responsibilities of men’s golf with Butler. The 26-year-old Louisiana Tech journalism graduate becomes one of only 15 females across the country serving as the primary contact for an FBS team, and the youngest. She replaces Patrick Walsh who departed after seven years to take over the Mercer athletic communications department. During her first four years at Tech she served as the primary contact for baseball, volleyball and women’s bowling. “Anna Claire has worked closely with football the past few years and did a tremendous job handling our baseball program this past season during their run to the NCAA Regional,” Butler said. “She is passionate about LA Tech and already has a great working relationship with Skip Holtz. All of the coaches she has worked with have raved about her and her work ethic. I’m so proud of the work she has done during the past four years, and am looking forward to what she will do in this new position.” Thomas’ family has strong ties to the University as her mother Donna serves as the Faculty Athletics Representative and chair of the LA Tech Athletics Council while serving as the chair of the Louisiana Tech Department of Psychology and Behavioral Science. Her two brothers Patrick and Drew both lettered for the Bulldog baseball team during their playing days while her father Bob lettered for the Bulldog baseball team as well. Thomas recently garnered national recognition for her volleyball media guide after placing second in the country by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) in 2016. She also contributed to the production of Louisiana Tech's football game notes, which were recognized as the best fall sport game notes packet in the country. Thomas was part of a team that produced the school's New Orleans Bowl Media Guide, which ranked second in the country in postseason guides category.

She has also won awards over the past few years in the annual LSWA SID contest, including first place for the Best Fact Sheet (game notes) category with her Bulldog baseball game notes in 2014 and second place in 2015. That same year, Thomas' baseball media guide received fourth place nationally by CoSIDA, while her volleyball guide ranked sixth in the country.

As a student at LA Tech, Thomas served as the sports editor for The Tech Talk over the course of two years and served as editor-in-chief for the school newspaper. In her time as the school newspaper's sports editor, Thomas was named Best Sports Columnist and Best Sports Writer by the Society of Professional Journalists (Region 12) and Louisiana Press Women, respectively.

After serving as a student worker in the department for his entire LA Tech undergraduate work, Bolin joined the department in December of 2015 and served as the primary contact for the Lady Techster softball team this past season. He will now serve as the primary media contact for baseball, volleyball and bowling while also assisting as a secondary contact for Bulldog football.

“Although Blake is in his first year as an employee of the department, he has worked for me since he stepped foot on this campus as a true freshman,” Butler said. “During that time he always went above and beyond and showed me that he had a true passion for this job and his University. He did an outstanding job with softball this past season, and I know he is ready for the transition into his new role.”

The Baton Rouge native joined Louisiana Tech in 2015 as an Athletic Communications Assistant and the primary contact for the softball program. Bolin worked alongside and promoted a Lady Techsters softball team that went on to garner 14 individual post-season awards and back-to-back 30-win seasons for the first time in nearly 20 years.

During his four years as a student at Louisiana Tech, Bolin worked as a student intern, working all home football, basketball, volleyball and softball games during that time. Prior to the 2013 season, he was assigned primary contact duties for men’s and women’s cross country. Bolin served as the public address announcer for two seasons at the Lady Techster Softball Complex.

Bolin graduated from Louisiana Tech in November of 2015 with a degree in journalism.

“I think the thing I’m most proud of is the fact that my entire department is made up of Louisiana Tech graduates,” said Butler. “Anna Claire, Blake, Kane McGuire and I all have a love for this place. It’s so much more than just a job to us. It’s a passion.”

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