Ricky Thomas, who possesses 15 years of experience in the National Football League, joined the Georgia State football staff in March 2012 as the assistant coach working with defensive ends.
Thomas, who worked with GSU head coach Bill Curry at both Alabama and Kentucky, spent the last 10 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, including the last eight years as tight ends coach. He originally joined the Colts' staff in 2002 after five years on head coach Tony Dungy's staff in Tampa Bay. While with the Buccaneers, he coached tight ends for three seasons after working with running backs and special teams his first two years there.
"We are extremely fortunate to be able to hire someone of the ability and character of Ricky Thomas," Curry said upon hiring Thomas. "He brings a breadth of knowledge of football, both offense and defense, and he has a positive impact on every team, every unit and every individual he is associated with. His authenticity comes through, and players really respond to that.
"His whole family is impressive," Curry added. "I coached his brother (Andre Thomas) at Georgia Tech, and his sister taught Latin at Baylor School (where Curry worked before GSU)."
During his time in Indianapolis, Thomas helped coach one of the NFL's most prolific offenses, with tight end Dallas Clark among the league's most productive tight ends. He was part of Indianapolis teams that participated in two Super Bowls, including the Colts' victory over the Chicago Bears 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.