Alabama '87, Tennessee-Chattanooga `95
When Ricky Thomas arrived at the University of Nevada in 2013, he brought with him 15 years of NFL coaching experience and a Super Bowl to Reno. Thomas returns for his third season with the Pack in 2015 and will once again mentor the team's cornerbacks.
In Thomas' second season at Nevada, the Wolf Pack posted a 7-6 record and advanced to the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl behind strong play from its cornerbacks. Senior Charles Garrett started in all 13 games while senior Evan Favors started in 11. Garrett earned All-Mountain West honors and posted 62 tackles, 11 passes defended, one interception and one fumble recovery. Meanwhile, Favors tallied 59 tackles and two pass break ups.
While Nevada will have to replace a combined 83 career starts at corner with the departure of Garrett and Favors, Thomas has a talented crop of players to coach in 2015 -- his third season at Nevada. Kendall Johnson started in two games last season with 28 tackles and a 45-yard interception return in Nevada's win over Washington State. Meanwhile, Elijah Mitchell, Teré Calloway, Jaden Sawyer and Randy Uzoma each return playing experience and could vie for a starting role under Thomas. Thomas' son -- Ricky Thomas Jr. -- will be a freshman linebacker on the team for the upcoming season.
In his first season with Nevada, Garrett and Favors combined for 18 of the position's 24 starts on the season to lead the Pack. Garrett earned honorable mention All-Mountain West honors with 57 tackles, five pass breakups and an interception. Favors chipped in with 43 tackles, four breakups and a pick.
Prior to being hired by third-year head coach Brian Polian before the 2014 season, Thomas coached the defensive front for Bill Curry at Georgia State in 2012. Prior to that, he spent 10 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, including eight as the tight ends coach. He previously spent five seasons with Tony Dungy in Tampa Bay, coaching the Buccaneers' tight ends for three seasons and working with the running backs and specials for two years. He's coached in two Super Bowls, winning a ring with the Colts in Super Bowl XLI.
Thomas's coaching career began in 1988 at Marion Military Institute, where he coached defensive backs. From 1989-92, he worked at Alabama, his alma mater, as an academic advisor for football and men's basketball. Thomas taught and coached at McCallie High School in Tennessee from 1992-96. He served as a strength and conditioning assistant at Kentucky in 1996, and then he was hired to coach defensive backs at Gardner Webb in 1997 before moving to the NFL later that year.
Thomas was a four-year starter (1983-86) at strong safety at Alabama, where he earned a bachelor's degree in health and physical education. In 1995, he added a master's degree in exercise science from Tennessee-Chattanooga.
Thomas and his wife, Kimberly, have two children.
The File on Ricky Thomas
Hometown: Niceville, Fla.
Family: Wife - Kimberly; Daughter - Kaitlyn; Son - Ricky Jr.
Education: Bachelor's, Health and Physical Education, Alabama, 1987. Master's, Exercise Science, Tennessee-Chattanooga, 1995.
2013-Current: Cornerbacks, Nevada
2012: Defensive Ends, Georgia State
2002-2011: Tight Ends, Indianapolis Colts
1997-2001: Tight Ends, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1997: Defensive Backs, Gardner-Webb
1996: Strength and Conditioning coach, Kentucky
1992-96: McCallie High School
1989-92: Academic Advisor, Alabama
1988: Defensive Backs, Marion Military Institute
Alabama: Four-year starter at strong safety (1983-86).
Recruiting Area: Los Angeles and Ventura County.
WOLF PACK BLOG
Monday, June 29, 2015 - Women's Basketball
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Thursday, May 28, 2015 - General
Thursday, May 21, 2015 - Golf
Monday, March 9, 2015 - Football
Friday, March 6, 2015
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Wednesday, January 14, 2015 - Rifle
Tuesday, January 6, 2015 - Track and Field
Monday, January 5, 2015 - General
Tuesday, December 23, 2014 - Track and Field
Saturday, December 13, 2014 - General
Friday, December 5, 2014 - Football
Monday, November 17, 2014 - Football
Monday, November 10, 2014 - Women's Basketball