Arkansas RB Coach Joel Thomas to Saints Confirmed by Bret Bielema

Arkansas running back coach Joel Thomas is set to join the New Orleans Saints for what is assumed to be the same role he carried out with the Razorbacks.  The hiring was initially reported by SI.com Saturday and is now being confirmed by Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema, according to NOLA.com.

If Thomas is to continue coaching running backs in the Big Easy, then that may mean a move to coaching tight ends for Saints’ current RB mentor Dan Roushar, who coached tight ends at Michigan State before coming to New Orleans in 2013.

Since the Black and Gold’s disappointing season came to an early end, the club has relieved several coaches of their duties — TE coach Terry Malone being one of those removals from the team, so the Roushar move would be no surprise.

Thomas has been with Arkansas since 2013, leading the backfield to the third-ranked rushing offense in the SEC that year after averaging 208.7 yards per game on the ground.  The Razorbacks finished sixth in the run-heavy conference in 2014, averaging 218 yards per game.

Joel Thomas has also spent time with Washington, Idaho, Purdue and Louisvilleproduce some stout running backs in the Big Ten and Pac-12.