“For my entire life, I’ve had a natural affinity for sports and writing; that’s why I say I was born to be a sports journalist.”

Ron Thomas became the original director of Morehouse College’s Journalism and Sports Program in 2007 and is an associate professor in the English Department. He administers one of the few journalism programs in the nation with a sports emphasis, teaches Basic News Writing and Sports Reporting, and advises the Maroon Tiger student news organization. Before coming to Morehouse, for 34 years he covered major college and professional sports mainly in the Bay Area and at USA Today, where he was its first pro basketball reporter. His beats included the NBA, the San Francisco 49ers and Giants, and periodically professional tennis. Read his past work and his blog “My Take” at www.ronthomas.news. Inspired by the writings of Dr. Harry Edwards and Sports Illustrated’s Jack Olsen in the 1960s, Thomas has specialized in writing about the racial dynamics of sports. His book “They Cleared the Lane: the NBA’s Black Pioneers” is the first one written about the integration of the NBA in 1950 after black players were secretly banned from the league. His 1994 book chapter, “Blacks Still Rare in the Press Box,” chronicled the relative lack of black sports reporters, a problem that persists today. In 2017, Thomas received the Morehouse College Professor of the Year Award and the Legacy Award given by the National Association of Black Journalists. Thomas received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Rochester and his master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern.

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Office Location & Hours

Brawley 103R

Monday, Wednesday
12-2 p.m.

Downloadable Files



  • University of Rochester

  • Northwestern University


  • Free-lance writer/Copy editor

    Black America Web

    Wrote articles about San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, Boalt Hall School of Law Dean Christopher Edley, and various sports topics.

  • Sports reporter/Columnist

    San Francisco Examiner

    Wrote columns and articles about professional and college sports.

  • NBA reporter/Editor

    USA Today

    Created pro basketball beat for new national newspaper, designed NBA coverage plan for the sports section.

  • Sports reporter

    San Francisco Chronicle
    1978-1982, 1984-1993

    Covered pro basketball and football, college sports.

Research Interests

  • The history of black sports figures, Their trials and triumphs


  • ENG 258

    Basic News Writing

  • ENG 378

    Sports Reporting

Publications & Presentations


  • National Association of Black Journalists

    Co-host, Sports Task Force Pioneer Awards | 2001-2020

  • William Monroe Trotter Group

    Member |

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Awards & Honors

  • 1

    Legacy Award from National Association of Black Journalists (2017); Excellence in Sports Journalism Lifetime Achievement Award given by Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport and its School of Journalism (2011); Won NABJ award for best sports column at newspapers with circulations under 150000. Column entitled “Why So Few?” examined lack of black NFL head coaches. (1999)