Campbellsville University introduced Perry Thomas as its new head football coach in a press conference Friday morning.
"The winning starts today," said Thomas in accepting his first collegiate head football coaching position.
"I am very excited and ready to get started and I am very appreciative of this opportunity to work at such a great institution like Campbellsville University. I look forward to the challenge of moving the football program forward and competing for the national championship. I also look forward to developing lifelong relationships with the student-athletes of Campbellsville University," he said.
Thomas said that his program would have three main goals. "We will recruit and retain young men of high quality; we will earn degrees and we will win the national championship," he added.
"Make no mistake, that is our goal. We can talk about the Mid-South Conference, an undefeated season, rival games and those are all great things, but our goal on the field will be to win the national title.
"I'm not sure when that will happen, but we start working towards that goal today," he added.
As for the look of the Tigers on the field, the new coach said look for Campbellsville to run a spread offense. We won't lean on the pass or the run exclusively, but we will depend on our personnel and also our game plan for the week," he added.
Defensively the Tigers will work out of a 3-5 base.
"We'll also run 4-4 and 5-2 elements and we will be an attacking defense. We won't necessarily line up and blitz every down but you will see 11 hats to the football on every play and we will be highly aggressive," Thomas said. "We will have fun on the field."
Thomas has been a successful head coach in Kentucky High School football for the past 16 seasons. His teams have participated in the Kentucky State High School football playoffs each year that he has been a head coach. He has a career record of 133-64. His coaching career began in 1986 as a volunteer assistant at Allen County-Scottsville High School and he was an assistant coach for the Patriots in 1987. He then became defensive coordinator at Campbellsville High School from 1988-1991.
"Coach Thomas is a coach with solid experience, a role model for young men, and believes in the mission of Campbellsville University," said Campbellsville University President Dr. Michael V. Carter. "I could not be more pleased to have him come and be our head coach.
"I believe coach Thomas is going to enjoy moving to the collegiate ranks and that he will put our program on a winning track in many ways. He understands that football and is a great teacher of teamwork, responsibility, discipline and integrity. He will lead our program in a way that makes the Christian mission of CU proud."
Over the past eight seasons Thomas has guided the Blue Tornado of Paducah Tilghman High School to a 70-31 record, including eight playoff appearances, five district championships, two regional championships and two state semi-final appearances. His 2007 team finished the season 9-5 and was eliminated in the state semi-finals 17-14 on a last second field goal by eventual Kentucky Class 3-A State Champion Louisville Central High School.
From 1992 through 1999 he was the head coach at Campbellsville High School where he compiled a 63-33 record. Thomas led the Eagle program to eight straight playoff appearances and had two district and one regional championship along with one state semi-final appearance.
Thomas has been named District and/or Region Coach of the Year nine times during his career and was named the 1993 and 1997 Kentucky Class A Coach of the Year by the Courier-Journal. He is a five-time coaching staff member of the Kentucky vs. Tennessee All-Star Team and was the Head Coach of the Kentucky All-Stars in 2006. Thomas was also a National Finalist for the American Football Coaches Association "Power of Influence" Award in 2005 and 2006 and received the Joe Russell Distinguished Leadership Award from the Western Kentucky Conference in 2003 and 2006.
"Coach Thomas is well respected throughout the state of Kentucky and that will certainly be an asset as we seek to recruit in-state football players to Campbellsville University," said Campbellsville University Director of Athletics Rusty Hollingsworth.
"He brings the characteristics the search committee identified as necessary for our head football coach. He is a man of faith and character, believes in discipline on and off the football field and he has been successful in his previous coaching stops."
Thomas will officially begin as Campbellsville's head coach in January, although "I'm starting recruiting today," the new CU coach added.
"We will meet with the players after the break and let them know in no uncertain terms that we love them and that we are committed to them but that they are going to have to be committed to this program as well."
With the announcement of Thomas as its new head coach, Campbellsville concludes a coaching search that took just under one month to complete.
"I want to offer my sincere thanks to the search committee members who spent many long hours helping us work through this process of selecting a head football coach," Hollingsworth said. "Their opinions and wisdom were certainly an important part of this selection."