The Flint Hill School has replaced one state-championship head football coach with another.
Jason Thomas has been announced as the Oakton private school's new head coach, replacing Tom Verbanic, who stepped down in November after leading the Huskies to consecutive 11-0 Division I state championship seasons. He coached Flint Hill for seven seasons and 57 wins.
Thomas coached Burr and Burton Academy in Vermont to a 10-1 Division II state private-school title in Vermont this past fall. He also led the team from Manchester to a state crown and 11-0 mark in 2015, leading the squad to a 79-31 record and eight playoff appearances since taking over as head coach in 2008, going 47-5 starting in the 2014 season.
"I was looking for a change, and to go somewhere that high-school football is a little more valued, like in Virginia," Thomas said. "There will be a lot of challenges at Flint Hill with the football expectations already set. Our goal is to be prepared and prepare. It's a great school and a great place. I'm ready to go now."
Thomas said he plans to move to the area in early June. He also will be a physical education teacher at Flint Hill and work in the athletic office. At some point, Thomas will meet with assistant coaches under Verbanic about joining his staff.
Prior to taking the job at Burr and Burton Academy, Thomas had coaching stops at the University of New Hampshire, University of Buffalo, Middlebury College and Randolph-Macon College in Virginia.
He graduated from Poultney High School in Vermont, then the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1998. Thomas played football at both school.
His football coaching career began working camps for the University of Richmond team, that led to the job at Randolph-Macon. Thomas lived in Richmond for three years.
"I wanted to get back down to this area," he said. "I love the weather. We still have snow on the ground up here, because we just got eight inches. Lacrosse teams are practing inside, but the snow is good for snowboarding."
For a time, Thomas also was the snowboarding coach at Burr and Burton Adademy, leading boys and girls teams to past state titles.
Prior to coaching at Flint Hill, Verbanic won two state football championships at public-school Westfield.
Verbanic remains at Flint Hill as the head baseball coach, teacher and assistant athletic director.