MOORHEAD – Cedric Thomas has been named as the new head football coach at Mississippi Delta Community College, Athletic Director Dan Rives announced on Wednesday. The Cleveland native is a former MDCC student-athlete as a defensive back for the Trojans in 1997 and 1998, and also spent time on the Delta coaching staff from 2003-2004 and then again from 2007-2011.
"We are very pleased to announce that Cedric Thomas will be our new head football coach at Mississippi Delta," Rives said. "When we began this search, it was our goal to seek someone with a proven track record at the collegiate level, and someone that has extensive experience in recruiting and player development. Coach Thomas brings exactly that, as well as head coaching experience at the Division I level, where he oversaw a major rebuild in short order. He has also shown a strong commitment to academics and developing young men away from the field. Both of these areas are something that he is very passionate about, and this is in lockstep with our administration."
Thomas succeeds Jeff Tatum, who resigned on Dec. 4 after eight seasons to take the Athletic Director position at Garden City (Kan.) Community College.
"In trying to identify our new head coach, our committee was charged with finding the candidate who would best exemplify our goal in representing our program the right way, both on and off the field, and we have found that candidate in Cedric Thomas," said Dr. Tyrone Jackson, MDCC President. "We are confident that Coach Thomas' experience as a head coach and extensive time spent at the collegiate level, as well as his commitment to the success of our student-athletes, will lead our football program to greater heights. I would like to thank our search committee for their due diligence and appropriate patience along the way in finding the right coach to lead our football program."
Thomas comes to Moorhead fresh off a stint as the defensive backs coach at the University of Southern Mississippi, where he spent the 2020 season with the Golden Eagles. His time in Hattiesburg came after a two-year stint as the head football coach at the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, his four-year alma mater.
In a two-year span in Pine Bluff, Thomas helped lead the Golden Lions to a four-win improvement, as UAPB tripled their win total from two wins to six wins from 2018 to 2019. In his two years, he coached 14 All-Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) honorees, including nine first-team selections.
"I'm very humbled for the opportunity to come back to my junior college alma mater, this time as the head football coach," said Thomas. It is truly a blessing to have been able to lead both my two-year and four-year alma maters, and it is not something that I take for granted. Our goal is to lead this program with integrity and to do it the right way, both on and off the field. I'm very grateful to our administration for this opportunity, and we can't wait to get to work."
Prior to his appointment at Pine-Bluff, Thomas spent six seasons at Alcorn State University, where he was the defensive backs coach from 2012-15 and then the defensive coordinator in 2016 and 2017. While in Lorman, Alcorn experienced a wealth of success, winning four consecutive East titles and two straight SWAC titles in 2014 and 2015.
Thomas served as the running backs coach at the University of Tennessee-Martin in 2002, before coming to Moorhead in 2003, where he also spent the 2004 season. After a two-year gig at Itawamba Community College in 2005 and 2006, he returned to MDCC for the 2007-2011 seasons.
The former MDCC and UAPB standout earned an Associate of Arts degree from MDCC in 1998, a Bachelor's degree in recreation in 2001 from UAPB and a Master's degree in administration from Alcorn State in 2015.
The former East Side High School graduate is married to Kelunda, and the couple has one daughter, Loegan. Thomas also has a son, Cedric Jr.
The hire of Thomas is pending board approval from the MDCC Board of Trustees.
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