Cedric Thomas has resigned as head football coach at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, according to a report filed first by Deltaplex News.
After leading the Golden Lions to a 6-5 season after the 2019 season, and the team’s first winning season since 2012, Thomas is leaving the program to become the defensive coordinator at Southern Miss.
Jay Hopson is the current head coach at Southern Miss, who previously served as the head coach at Alcorn State from 2012-15, where Thomas also served on his staff as the defensive coordinator for two seasons.
The news was later confirmed in a statement released by the school on Monday.
“Cedric Thomas did a fantastic job of bringing the UAPB football program back to notoriety and he will be missed,” said Vice-Chancellor/Director of Athletics Chris Peterson. “We hate to lose him, but I understand the profession. He has an opportunity to move closer to his career goals and we are excited for him and his family. We thank him for everything he has done for the Golden Lion family and wish he and his family all the best.”
“This was a very difficult decision for me and my family because of the deep love I have for my alma mater,” Thomas said. “When enrolling here as a student-athlete in the Fall of 1998, I could not have envisioned the impact this university would have on my life. I’ve said it many times and I will continue to express it – UAPB saved my life when I came to Pine Bluff because of what many individuals on this campus and in this community poured into me as a young man. I was extremely blessed to have the opportunity to come back and give back as head coach of this proud program and will be eternally grateful for the support of Golden Lion Nation.”
Thomas was named the head coach at UAPB in Dec. 2017 after serving a total of six seasons at Alcorn State.
Assistant head coach Doc Gamble has been named Interim Head Coach.