Thomas Nelson, E&H Class of 1998, is a teacher and football coach at Murphy High School in Murphy, North Carolina. He is also a personal fitness trainer at Murphy Health and Fitness.
Thomas was inducted into the E&H Sports Hall of Fame in 2011 for his versatile performance as a defensive back, defensive lineman, fullback, and offensive lineman. He was a four-year letter winner and accumulated 16 career interceptions, and has held the ODAC record for interceptions in a season (9) and interceptions in a game (4). He was a two-time All-ODAC First Team, All-State College Division, and All-South Region honoree. Additionally, Nelson was named Second Team Hewlett Packard All-America, as well as to the Burger King, Kodak, and Dan Hansen’s Football Gazette All-America First Teams.
In addition to his athletic pursuits, Nelson was a member of Habitat for Humanity and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He also participated in the NCAA Youth Education through Sports (YES) program while he was in college.
After graduating, Nelson remained at Emory & Henry for eight years, serving as assistant football coach, head softball coach, intramural director, area coordinator, and strength & conditioning coordinator, before leaving to pursue a career in secondary education and coaching. In the 2010-11 academic year, he was named Murphy High School Teacher of the Year.