PINE BLUFF, Ark. – After two seasons as head coach, Cedric Thomas has left the University of Arkansas At Pine Bluff football program.
“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.”
Thomas’ tripled the win total of Golden Lion football from two wins in his first season to six in 2019. UAPB posted signature wins over Alabama A&M and Tennessee State and positioned the program as a SWAC contender. He had 14 all-SWAC players during his tenure, highlighted by WR DeJuan Miller being named SWAC Freshman of the Year in 2018, and RB Taeyler Porter becoming only the third player in program history to post back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons. Both Miller and Porter along with return specialist Tyrin Ralph were named to All-America teams.
Always a strong proponent of academics, more than 50 UAPB football players attained at least a 3.0 grade point average during the Fall 2019 semester.
“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.”
Assistant head coach Doc Gamble has been named Interim Head Coach and will lead the program at this time.
“My desire is to keep the coaching staff intact,” Peterson said. “We have a solid foundation of success to build upon and my goal is to maintain the continuity of the program as we move forward.”