UK Football

Kentucky parts ways with wide receivers coach Lamar Thomas after two seasons

Wide receivers coach Lamar Thomas is no longer on Kentucky’s football staff.

Thomas’ contract, which was set to expire in June, was not renewed after two seasons with the Cats. A search for a new coach will begin immediately.

“I appreciate the contributions Lamar made to our program during the last two years,” head coach Mark Stoops said in a news release through the school. “We wish him the best in the future.”

Thomas could not be reached immediately for comment but Thursday evening posted about his departure on Twitter.

“Our family loves Lexington and all it has to offer,” he tweeted, and went on to thank UK fans and players, Stoops and his staff and UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart. “We will continue to root for the Wildcats wherever we go.”

While looking for a new wide receivers coach, Stoops also is seeking another assistant coach on defense to fill a new 10th assistant coaching spot permitted by the NCAA.

Stoops told the Herald-Leader last week that he’s not in any hurry to fill that position.

Thomas was the Cats’ second wide receivers coach in five-plus seasons under Stoops.

UK had just 10 passing touchdowns this season — tied for fewest in the Southeastern Conference — and four of those went to tight end C.J. Conrad.

The Cats were breaking in several new wide receivers at key positions in 2017 after the unexpected early departure of Jeff Badet, who graduated and transferred to Oklahoma, and the loss of Dorian Baker.

The senior wide receiver, and one of UK’s top targets a season ago, was sidelined this season by an ankle injury. He is expected to return.

Thomas, a colorful coach with a nickname for every player, joined Stoops’ staff after working at Louisville under Bobby Petrino.

Jennifer Smith: 859-231-3241, @jenheraldleader