Joplin, Mo. -- Missouri Southern assistant head football coach and defensive coordinator Jay Thomas has been named the head coach at Division I Northwestern State University, the school announced today.
Thomas came to Southern after spending two years at Northwestern in the same capacity he had at Southern. Prior to joining the staff at NSU, Thomas spent five seasons as the head coach at Nicholls State where in 2005, he was named Southland Conference Coach of the Year and a finalist for the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year Award after leading Nicholls to a 6-4 overall record that included being SLC co-champions.
Thomas spent time as an assistant at Nicholls under Daye, as well as stints at Southeast Missouri and Louisiana State. He's a 1988 graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi.
"We want to congratulate coach Thomas and his family," said head coach Daryl Daye. "It's a great accomplishment to be a Division I head coach. We're excited for him and wish him the best of luck and we're very proud of him. We're very appreciative to the effort he brought to Missouri Southern and we wish him the very best. He's an outstanding coach and I know he'll do Northwestern a good job."
A national search for Thomas' replacement will begin immediately.