Alcorn State names next head coach

Published 2:07 pm Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Staff Reports

Alcorn State Athletics

LORMAN — Alcorn State University has named Cedric Thomas as its new head football coach, Interim President Tracy M. Cook announced Tuesday. Thomas becomes the 22nd head coach in program history.

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“Alcorn State University’s commitment to our football program and student athletes is unwavering,” said Dr. Tracy M. Cook. “I am thrilled to appoint Cedric Thomas as our new head football coach. I believe he is uniquely positioned to continue our championship winning tradition. His passion for the game, approach to leadership of our student athletes, and his vision for the future will continue to strengthen our culture of excellence as a leader in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.”

Interim Director of Athletics Robert Raines is pleased with the appointment of Thomas. “We are grateful that Coach Cedric Thomas has agreed to be our new head football coach,” stated Raines. “Thomas brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position. As an Alcorn alumnus, Coach Thomas is a familiar face to the program, having served two stints with the Braves. He aligns perfectly with our culture, has a great command of the program, rapport with our players, and is committed to sustaining a winning program centered on strong academics, community outreach, and high character student athletes.”

Coach Thomas shared his thoughts on being selected for this new role at the university. “I am extremely humbled, thankful, and honored for this opportunity to lead the Alcorn State University Braves as the new head football coach,” said Thomas. “I want to continue to build on the foundation that was laid before me by so many legendary coaches, players, and staff. We will continue to make the University and alumni base proud of our championship culture.”

A seasoned leader, Coach Thomas rejoined the Alcorn State football staff in March of 2022 as the defensive coordinator. The Cleveland, Mississippi native takes the reigns of the program after a prior stint as the defensive back coach from 2012-2015 and the defensive coordinator in 2016 and 2017.

During his eight seasons with the Braves, Alcorn won four straight SWAC Eastern Division titles, including back-to-back SWAC titles in 2014 and 2015, and participated in the inaugural Celebration Bowl.

Before returning to Alcorn, Thomas spent the 2021 season as the head football coach of his junior college alma mater Mississippi Delta Community College. He led the Trojans to a 5-4 season with three student athletes receiving Mississippi Association of Community Colleges Conference All-Conference awards.

Thomas spent the 2020 season as the defensive back coach at the University of Southern Mississippi after a two-year stint as the head football coach at the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, his undergraduate alma mater.

During his two years 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. He coached 14 All-Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) honorees, including nine first-team selections.

Thomas served as the running backs coach at the University of Tennessee-Martin in 2002 before coming to MDCC in 2003, where he also spent the 2004 season. After a two-year term 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 University 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.