Photo: Wendell Thomas (left) was presented with the Gerry Carroll Award at the US Lacrosse Convention in Baltimore.

US Lacrosse has named Wendell Thomas of Ellicott City, Maryland as recipient of the organization’s 2014 Gerald J. Carroll Exemplary Coaching Award. Thomas has served as a coach and teacher in Howard County, Maryland since 1977, with primary service at Howard High School and Atholton High School.

Established in 1994, the Gerald J. Carroll Award annually recognizes one high school boys' coach nationwide. The award measures the success of a coach not in victories but in the care and guidance he gives to the balanced development of the young men who play the game.

US Lacrosse officially presented Thomas with the Carroll Award last month during the 2015 US Lacrosse Convention at the Baltimore Convention Center. Members of the Carroll family are actively involved in helping to select the annual winner.

Among the letters of support submitted on behalf of Thomas, Alec Gryski, a player at Atholton High School, wrote, “He believes every player should be given the chance to play regardless of how skilled they are. He has no favorites. He coaches me and others the same way that he coaches the starters. Everybody has the same responsibility, to play hard and respect the game.”

In addition to lacrosse, Thomas has also coached boys’ and girls’ track, soccer and wrestling teams. Michelle McKenna, who played soccer at Atholton, wrote, “Mr. Thomas has influenced my life tremendously. He demonstrates that being enthusiastic, thoughtful, respectful and compassionate can make a profound difference in someone’s life. He would try to play every single player in each game. He cared for us.”

Among his numerous career honors and awards, Thomas has been inducted into three Hall of Fames, including the US Lacrosse Baltimore Chapter Hall of Fame in 2008.

“Working with the Carroll family in giving this award, we are humbled every year by the wonderful individuals nominated, like Mr. Thomas,” said Ann Carpenetti, vice president of lacrosse operations at US Lacrosse. “The award embodies the qualities and achievements that coaches across all sports should strive to achieve. We were impressed with Mr. Thomas’ accomplishments both on and off the field and truly moved by the letters of recommendation that accompanied his nomination.”

US Lacrosse will begin accepting nominations for the 2015 Gerald J. Carroll Exemplary Coaching Award beginning March 1. For more information about the award, please visit the US Lacrosse website.