Meet Coach Geo
Geo Thomas is the oldest child of a Marine and a farmer's daughter and it did not take long for him to learn the value of hard work. He was born in Detroit and raised in Pontiac and Royal Oak. His first team-sport experience was playing on a rec basketball team in 1977 that had 14 players, four coaches and no playing time rules. The league did not supply uniforms so teams went shirts-and-skins. The referees were just a year older than the players and had little experience in calling games. After the season ended, Geo remembers saying "I can run a league better than that." And so began a process of finding better ways to do things.
After graduating from Central Michigan University in 1989, he started finding opportunities to build programs and events. In 1990, "Coach Geo" began teaching basketball and fitness clinics at the local YMCA. With limited resources, he made his own uniforms, signage and started mentoring older players to help coach the younger players. By 1994, his allotted gym time was at capacity and all his programs had lengthy wait lists.
In 1994, he landed the Sports Director position at the prestigious Franklin Athletic Club in Southfield, Michigan. Franklin had just built a gym and was looking to fill it with activity. By the year 2000, Geo had built the largest youth basketball program in Oakland County. In all, he created and managed over 60 programs that saw over 2000 participants annually.
In 2002, "Coach Geo" left Franklin and started the AlphaWolf Athletic Company. His business model was strong and included a website, college scholarship plans, youth leadership training, charity work and Team AlphaWolf AAU. AlphaWolf survived the economic recession of the mid-2000s and in 2011 generated $496K of revenue. In all, over 14,ooo kids participated in an AlphaWolf program.
In 2012, The Detroit Pistons recruited Coach Geo to make a stronger impact in youth basketball and It didn't take long to achieve NBA success. in 2013 he created the Pistons Academy Awards which was the largest basketball banquet in the country with over 2000 people attending. In 2018 and 2019, the Pistons led the NBA in team-based youth league participation and in 2018 ranked 4th of all NBA teams in youth impact. Coach Geo twice presented a "Best Practice" at the Jr. NBA meetings in Chicago. Annually, he worked with over 100 volunteer coaches and managed 45 part time employees.
In 2022, Coach Geo officially launched Motor City Evolution with the purpose of downsizing in order to reconnect to young basketball players. "We just grew too fast and became too big," said Coach Geo in 2021, "It felt more like business than sports." Therefore, by facilitating smaller programs that are more impactful, MCE has been able to bring out the best in every player.
Welcome to the Evolution!