LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A former Lufkin High School football standout has returned home to serve on the LHS Panthers coaching staff.
On Friday Lufkin ISD athletic director Todd Quick confirmed that LISD had hired Rafael Thomas. Quick said Thomas, who played wide receiver and cornerback for LHS, will coach the freshman cornerbacks, along with track and basketball.
"He understands what goes on here," Quick said. "He understands the type of kids we have. He knows that we can coach the hard but have to hug their neck after that."
Thomas went to Oklahoma State on a baseball scholarship. He later transferred to Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, where he was an All-American in football and baseball for the Muleriders. Southern Arkansas University is a NCAA Division II program in the Great American Conference.
Quick said they always try to hire former LHS players who gone on to take care of business and earn their degrees, so that they came come back and be role models for Lufkin ISD's athletes.
"We are fortunate to have quite a few [come back]," Quick said. "We have Alton Dixon coaching our safeties. We have Cam Davis that's going to coach our defensive line. We have Zeek Fancher that is helping with the receivers. We have Jamie Bridges coaching our defensive ends. You got to have those ones where the little kids say, 'Hey, I remember when he played.' You've got their attention. We are very fortunate enough to have those that have gone off and come back."