New Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt has added another SEC assistant to his growing coaching staff.
Former LSU general manager Austin Thomas will reportedly join the Vols, sources confirmed to GoVols247‘s Patrick Brown on Wednesday.
According to his bio on LSU’s official website, Thomas “leads the way in the oversight and management of the entire LSU football program” and is expected to take on a similar role at Tennessee, according to the report.
The Nashville native has spent nearly five years at LSU, initially joining the staff in April 2013 and returning to the Tigers after last year following three months at USC. He helped sign an LSU class that ranked second, fifth and second during the 2014, 2015 and 2016 national recruiting cycles, as well as nabbing JaCoby Stevens and Jacob Phillips, who ranked No. 2 and No. 4 respectively among prospects from the state of Tennessee in 2017.
Thomas was promoted to general manager following LSU’s decision to retain interim coach Ed Orgeron as head coach on a full-time basis and makes an annual salary of $125,000, according to The Advocate’s Ross Dellenger.
Thomas began his college football career working at Tennessee as a recruiting intern in 2008 under then-head coach and new athletic director Phillip Fulmer and stayed with the Vols an additional season as part of Lane Kiffin’s staff, working alongside Orgeron, who served as Tennessee’s defensive line coach.
He followed Kiffin and his staff to USC, where he worked as a defensive and recruiting assistant before taking on an operations job in April 2011 and eventually being promoted to assistant director of operations/recruiting the following year.
Thomas also worked alongside former Tennessee offensive coordinator at Bowling Green as director of recruiting and player personnel in 2013, before departing for LSU.