RENO, Nev. – Nevada football coach Brian Polian has completed his on-field coaching staff with the hiring of Ricky Thomas to coach the Wolf Pack’s cornerbacks.
Thomas, who was a four-year starter at safety at Alabama, is a veteran coach who spent 15 seasons in the NFL before joining the staff at Georgia State last year.
“We are thrilled to add Ricky Thomas to our coaching staff. Ricky is a quality person and he will have a very positive impact on our student-athletes,” Polian said. “He brings to us a wealth of football experience from all levels of the game, having played in the SEC and coached in the high school, major college, and NFL ranks. With the addition of Ricky, we feel like we have assembled one of the finest staffs in the country here at Nevada.”
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' coaching career began in 1988 at Marion Military Institute junior college, 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.