By LARRY VAUGHT
Mark Stoops wanted the right fit to coach receivers and the Kentucky coach says he found it with Lamar Thomas, who had been coaching receivers at Louisville.
“Lamar and I have known each other for some time, going back to my coaching days at Miami. He was just getting done playing in the league (NFL), if I’m not mistaken, at that time. He’d come back and would be around Miami’s program. I’d see him around there,” Stoops said.
“Of course, when he was a high school coach, I was at Florida State, I’d stop in and see him at the high school. Seeing him progress, taking a small college job at Hampton, moving up. Seeing how he worked at it. He wants to be a great football coach. I have known Lamar”
He knows he brings “great value” to UK because of his college success at Miami and then years in the NFL.
“His work ethic and competitiveness to be a great coach. The timing of it, we felt like it was right. To Lamar’s credit, he wanted to stick by the last recruiting visit (at Louisville). It was not going to affect us. So I said, by all means, stay and finish through the last recruiting visit,” Stoops said.
“We felt like the timing was right rather than to wait till after signing day. It made no difference to me whether it was at Louisville or any other program as far as the timing or anything like that. I don’t think it’s going to have a major effect on either one of us. It was just the right thing to do, to announce it (Tuesday).”
Recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow says he has known Thomas “for a long time” and played against him in the NFL.
“If I told you just where I knew him from and all that, I can’t tell you that. I’ll tell you what, he’s going to be a great hire. He’s exactly what we need,” Marrow said.