Peru State hires NC native to help lead Bobcat cross country

Staff Writer
Syracuse Journal-Democrat

Seven-time Ironman Triathlete and Nebraska City native Jim Thurman has been hired to serve as an assistant coach for the Peru State cross country team.

Thurman, owner of the former Thurman's Bike & Sport for 27 years, has been involved in running and cycling most of his life. With a bachelor's in English and minor in political science, Thurman was a member of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) track team and competed in the 400 meters, 800 meters and 400 meter intermediate hurdles. He graduated from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln in 1987.

Following college, Thurman competed in many cycling races in the Midwest often competing at the Headwaters 100 in Minnesota. On his return to Nebraska City, Jim purchased the family business in 1993. He has served on the River City Economic Development Corporation and was President of the Nebraska City Chamber of Commerce.

Thurman started the Nebraska City Road Runners Club in 2011 with over 125 young athletes competing in track and field across southeast Nebraska. His program encouraged practice attendance and learning pre-race focus to attain better results. He also coached boys' and girls' soccer for six years, boys' and girls' basketball for 10 years, and has been a high school basketball official for many years.

In 2012, Thurman took up triathlon, competing in Sprint, Olympic, Half and Full Ironman events. He has qualified for USAT Nationals in the Sprint and Olympic distance the last seven years. Thurman trains up to 20 hours per week in the summer and fall and writes triathlon workouts for area athletes.

Recently, Thurman was elected as an Otoe County Commissioner and serves in the first district. He is a board member of SENDD and People 4 Otoe County. In 1996, Thurman was the Outstanding Young Nebraskan award winner and was the 2011 Nebraska City Foundation Philanthropist of the Year.

"I really appreciate the opportunity to coach at Peru State College," stated Thurman. Continuing, he said, "Working with athletes and watching them grow and succeed in their sport and in life has been a great joy to me and their dedication pushes me to work hard and accomplish my goals. I want to thank athletic director (Wayne) Albury and associate athletic director (Ted) Harshbarger for allowing me to become part of the Bobcat Family."

Thurman and his wife, Dr. Carol Thurman – the school psychologist for Nebraska City Public Schools, continue to reside in Nebraska City. Their oldest daughter Aubrey is a sophomore at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., while daughter Aspen is a junior at Nebraska City High School. Thurman's dad, the late William E. Thurman, ran track and played basketball for Peru State in the late 40's/early 50's.

Coach James Cole, who recently was hired to re-establish the men's program, and then took over the women's program after former coach Katy Billings retired, commented, "I look forward to working with Coach Thurman as we work together to bring back the storied history of the men's cross country program and to help elevate the women's program."