UMBC gives Aki Thomas the permanent gig

The coaching carousel will begin shortly, and we'll be writing about plenty of coaches who will be looking for employment. Aki Thomas isn't one of them, though. Thomas has been given the permanent tag as head coach at UMBC.

Thomas took over at Maryland-Baltimore County on an interim basis since just two days before the official start of practice, in mid-October, when Randy Monroe and the school parted ways after eight seasons at the helm.

The Retrievers went to the NCAA tournament in 2008 after winning the America East title but had struggled the last few years -- and won 13 games over the past three seasons. Thomas, a former assistant at Howard University who had been on the staff under Monroe since 2007, has led the team to a 7-22 mark and a 5-11 record in league play. The seven wins are the most since the 2008-09 season.

“I have been impressed with Coach Thomas’ basketball acumen, as well as his positive approach with our student-athletes,” athletic director Dr. Charles Brown said in a statement. “He has all the tools to be an outstanding head coach.”

That still leaves six interim coaches in the country: 

Saint Louis -- Jim Crews

USC -- Bob Cantu

Old Dominion -- Jim Corrigan

Texas Tech -- Chris Walker

Cal State Fullerton -- Andy Newman

South Alabama -- Jeff Price

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