Adding intrigue to the hire, Thomas makes the move after spending the last two years with UK's arch-rivals, the Louisville Cardinals.
Thomas, a former Miami Hurricanes standout and an eight-year NFL veteran, fills the vacancy left initially by Tommy Mainord and then later by Chad Scott. He has spent the last two years at Louisville. Prior to that, he coached a season at Western Kentucky and two years at Hampton.
“I’ve known Lamar since my time at Miami and have always thought highly of him,” Stoops said in a statemnt released by UK. “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.”
“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 a standout wide receiver at Miami (Fla.) from 1988-92. He won two national championships (1989, 1991) and holds the school record for the most career receptions (144). When he graduated, he ranked second in both receiving yards (2,271) and touchdowns (23), behind only NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin.
After his collegiate career, Thomas was selected in the third round of the NFL Draft by Tampa Bay, where he played three seasons (1993-95), before finishing his career with Miami (1996-2000). His career totals featured 106 catches for 1,558 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Lamar and his wife Erin have a daughter, Parker.
Buchholz HS (Gainesville, Fla.)
Miami (Fla.), 1992
Miami (Fla.): 1988-92
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 1993-95
Miami Dolphins: 1996-2000
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)