Hilliard hires former Dolphins RB Daniel Thomas as its new head coach

Thomas, a Hilliard graduate, was a 2nd-round draft pick of Miami in 2011

Hilliard graduate Daniel Thomas of the Miami Dolphins runs with the ball against the St. Louis Rams in the third quarter during a preseason game on August 28, 2014 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The Dolphins defeated the Rams 14-13. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) (Joel Auerbach, 2014 Joel Auerbach)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Hilliard is turning to a familiar name to lead its football program.

The Red Flashes hired alum and former NFL player Daniel Thomas to lead the football program. Thomas is a big name in Nassau County. He starred at both safety and quarterback at Hilliard before going on to college and later the NFL. Thomas was a second-round draft pick of the Dolphins in 2011. Hilliard athletic director Jason Collins confirmed the hire on Monday.

Thomas played four seasons with the Dolphins before training camp stints with the Bears and then Miami again in 2015 and ‘16 before his NFL career ended.

Thomas graduated from Hilliard in 2006 and went on to Northwest Mississippi Community College before transferring to Kansas State. Thomas shined with the Wildcats, rushing for 2,850 yards and 30 touchdowns in two seasons.

Thomas replaces Waylon Cox, who led Hilliard to an 8-3 record and a playoff berth in his lone season.

High school football coaching changes

SchoolFormer coachNew coach
Atlantic CoastMike MontemayorStep Durham
Bartram TrailDarrell SutherlandCory Johns
Christ’s ChurchKoreen BurchVacant
ColumbiaDemetric JacksonBrian Allen
Fleming IslandDamenyum SpringsChad Parker
HilliardWaylon CoxDaniel Thomas
JacksonChristopher FoyVacant
Keystone HeightsChuck DickinsonSteve Reynolds
MenendezMatt PotakBen White
OakleafMarcus Miller (interim)Christopher Foy
Tocoi CreekMike KolakowskiVacant
West NassauRickey ArmstrongGunnar Cox
WolfsonStep DurhamJermaine Wilson

It has been an active offseason for area coaching moves, especially in St. Johns and Nassau counties. Bartram Trail’s Darrell Sutherland and Menendez’s Matt Potak also resigned following the season. In Nassau, Gunnar Cox replaced Rickey Armstrong at West Nassau. And Hilliard’s position came open Tuesday.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.