Falcons assistant Emmitt Thomas has been named interim head coach, in the absence of Bobby Petrino who resigned yesterday in order to accept the head coaching position at the University of Arkansas. Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson will take over for Petrino in play-calling. Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer will continue to manage the team’s defense.
Thomas has served as the team’s secondary coach this season. Thomas has been the team’s longest tenured assistant, first joining the team under head coach Dan Reeves in 2002. This will be his first experience as head coach, but Thomas has a lot of NFL experience, first breaking into the league with the then St. Louis Cardinals in 1981 and hasn’t looked back since.
It’s unknown as of yet if any current Falcon assistants will join Petrino at Arkansas. Although it’s noteworthy that as of this afternoon, his brother Paul who had been the team’s receivers coach this year is no longer listed on the team’s official site as being part of the coaching staff.
UPDATE: Rich McKay indicated in today’s press conference that Paul Petrino decided to resign his position with the team as an assistant.