Current News

Meet the Coaches: Thomas Baughman

Thomas Baughman has been the girls basketball varsity head coach just since 2017, but the Lock Haven University graduate has played an integral role in the Donegal basketball program for nearly seven years – and his passion for and involvement in sports have spanned a lifetime.

After wrestling and playing football and baseball at Boiling Springs High School in Boiling Springs, PA, Baughman went on to play collegiate rugby while pursuing his bachelor’s degree in health sciences.

Shortly after graduating, Baughman discovered a love for coaching, and in the subsequent years devoted his time to coaching baseball for the Mount Joy Athletic Association, rugby for the Warwick Swarm and Franklin & Marshall College and football for the Donegal Braves Football Association – before ultimately beginning to coach basketball through Donegal’s youth basketball program.

Fast forward to today, and the girls that Baughman first coached as fifth graders are now seniors preparing to graduate, and Baughman has progressed right along with them. Following two years coaching Donegal youth basketball, Baughman spent an additional two years as part of the Donegal junior high girls basketball staff, before being named the high school varsity head coach in 2017.

When Baughman is not on the sidelines of a Donegal basketball game or devoting his time and effort to preparing his players for both life and basketball, he can likely be found at Spooky Nook Sports in Manheim, PA, where he serves as the director of athletic operations, or at home in Mount Joy with his family. With his wife of 17 years, Kelli Baughman, Thomas has three children, Leelan, a fourth grader at Donegal; Landen, currently in eight grade; and Kiera, a junior and one of the young basketball players that Thomas has the privilege of coaching each year.

Q: Why is community support important for Donegal Athletics?

It’s not only important for the morale of the community but also the athletes.  The athletes want to feel supported and appreciated, as they put in hours of hard work to be able to go out and perform on game days.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about being a coach?

My favorite thing about coaching is making an impact on the lives of our young athletes.  It’s refreshing and exciting working with them to achieve their individual goals while also teaching them the team concepts and striving to our best each practice and game.

Q: What has been your best moment as a coach?

My best coaching moment came in my first year as the girls’ head varsity coach.  We started out really rough versus Cedar Crest in the LL-League play-in playoff game.  I called a timeout in the first period, after going down by 12 points, and asked them: ‘how do you want this night to go? Because nobody is expecting you to win this game!’ After a few adjustments and players stepping up and saying, ‘we got this,’ we pulled off the upset!

Q: What’s your philosophy on coaching?

Create a fun, honest, winning, learning environment for not only basketball but for life.  Everyone must put forth their best effort to become better with their skill sets for the team. 

Q: What makes Donegal Athletics so special?

It is the community and the parents of the players. It is always great to see this community backing up all of our student athletes when they are competing.

Q: What do you want your athletes to take away from being on your team?

Be honest and true to yourself and everyone around you throughout everything you do. By being honest and true, you will be successful.