Thomas Harris: Inspirational Coach
Meet Atlanta Coach Thomas Harris. Coach Thomas learned how to play chess when he was 8; but, like many kids, he knew only how the pieces moved and had no knowledge of strategic play. About 20 years ago, his cousin came to live with him and became his chess mentor, sharing information about opening, middle and endgame strategies.
As his chess knowledge began to grow, Coach Thomas joined the USCF and started playing competitively for money and for trophies. He has competed against some of the most talented chess players in the Southeast and has learned a lot through competitive play.
After a few years of chess competition, Coach Thomas was inspired to pass on his knowledge and love of the game to the next generation, sharing the fun and excitement of playing chess with young people. He has started a chess ministry at Faith Baptist Church (94 Mt. Zion Road, SW, Atlanta), “Chess for Jesus.” The ministry meets every Tuesday from 4:30pm to 6pm. The club is free and is open not only to church members, but to anyone in the community who wants to play, learn or improve chess skills. He is currently working to add other churches to this chess ministry.
In addition, Coach Thomas works with Championship Chess school clubs and runs clubs at Children of the Most High in West End and The Youth Life Center in Riverdale, GA. His motto for chess club: "find out how much fun learning chess can be."
Coach Thomas is originally from Washington D.C. and has a degree in Psychology from Morehouse College, 1988.