Stephen Thomas Returns To Football After NFL Stint, Will Coach Inside LBs
Stephen Thomas knows how good it can be on Powers Field, and he is excited to get that feeling back.
Thomas, a member of the 2013 Ivy League championship coaching staff, has returned to Princeton after a one-year stint with the Philadelphia Eagles, and he will coach the inside linebackers. Thomas replaces Trevor Powers, who stepped away from coaching during the offseason.
"I'm thrilled to have Stephen back on our staff," said Bob Surace '90, the Charles W. Caldwell Jr. '25 Head Coach of Football. "He comes in with terrific understanding of our defensive mentality, and he will add a wealth of knowledge that he gained in Philadelphia last year. Stephen played an important role on our Ivy championship team, and I know he'll be a terrific leader for a really strong group of linebackers in our program."
Thomas coached at Princeton for three years (2012-2014) before taking a position with the Philadelphia Eagles as a defensive quality control assistant. In his last season with Princeton, Thomas coached Mike Zeuli to the Bushnell Cup as the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year. He also helped Rohan Hylton to his first All-Ivy League honor; Hylton, a rising senior, will be a Princeton tri-captain this season.
During his three years at Princeton, the Tigers went 18-12 and won an Ivy League title; in the three years prior to his arrival, Princeton went 4-26.
"I'm excited to return to Princeton University and work with a talented group of young men," Thomas said. "Returning to work with Bob Surace and the Princeton football staff will be a great experience for me."
Thomas spent the 2011 season at Southern Miss, where he worked on the offensive side of the ball. He helped the Golden Eagles to a conference title and a Hawaii Bowl appearance while working with the offensive lineman and assisting in film breakdown, data input and scout team coordination.
He gained terrific experience on the defensive side of the ball during two years at Delaware, where he worked with both the linebackers (2009) and the secondary (2010). He helped the Blue Hens go 18-8 those two seasons, the latter of which resulted in the top-ranked scoring defense in the FCS and a berth in the national championship game.
Thomas is a 2006 graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he played defensive back and earned his degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering. He went from Buffalo to SUNY Cortland, where he began his coaching career working with the defensive secondary for two seasons. During that time, Cortland won two conference titles and reached the NCAA quarterfinal.