The Kentucky Wildcats have their new wide receivers coach, one day before National Signing Day commences.
Better late than never, and UK sure did a good job waiting until the last minute to secure the services of Lamar Thomas, who the school announced Tuesday will be the Cats' receivers coach going forward.
Thomas, one of the most productive wide receivers in college football history while playing for the Miami Hurricanes, joins the Kentucky coaching staff after two seasons at Louisville.
"I've known Lamar since my time at Miami and have always thought highly of him," Stoops said. "The competitiveness Lamar showed as a player has translated into his work ethic as a coach. I've followed his career and been impressed with how his players play and how he handles himself on the recruiting trail. We're excited to have him on our staff."
Thomas has been with the Cardinals since 2014 before serving as the wide receivers coach under Bobby Petrino with the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. Thomas has helped Petrino produce explosive passing attacks every year since then, but Thomass impact on the recruiting trail was his biggest asset.
Thomas' coaching career began at Boynton Beach Community H.S. from 2008-10 before a stint as the Hampton receivers coach from 2011-2012. Just last year, Thomas helped UL land star quarterback Lamar Jackson, not to mention two talented receivers in Jaylen Smith and Devante Peete. He also just helped the Cards land four-star receiver Desmond Fitzpatrick to leave UL with a parting gift before he headed down I-75 to join UK.
"There are a lot of good things going on in the Kentucky football program and the opportunity came up for me to be a part of it and I couldn't pass it up," Thomas said. "I've known Coach Stoops a long time. He used to visit the high school I worked for in Florida when he recruited for Florida State and he's always been a stand-up person and a person I really like and admire. I like how he runs his program and what he stands for. I look forward to coaching in the SEC and I also look forward to coaching the receivers at UK. I can't wait."
Thomas was also a standout receiver with the Miami from 1989-92 during the Canes' heyday. He set a then-school record for most receptions in a career (later eclipsed by Reggie Wayne). Thomas then played eight seasons in the NFL as a wide receiver, three with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and five with the Miami Dolphins.
Thomas Coaching Career
2008-10: Boynton Beach HS (Passing game coordinator)
2011-12: Hampton (Wide Receivers)
2013: Western Kentucky (Wide Receivers)
2014-15: Louisville (Wide Receivers)
2016: Kentucky (Wide Receivers)