Ian Thomas had been away from football for about 18 months after a failed tryout with the Washington Redskins in 2013.
A three-year starter and honorable mention All-Big Ten at the University of Illinois, Thomas continued to work out and contemplated joining a pro team in Canada. What he didn't think about, at first, was coaching.
That changed when he received a call about two years ago from Rick Peacock, who had been named varsity football coach at St. Vincent Pallotti High in Laurel in 2012.
Peacock thought Thomas had something to offer even though he had never coached football at any level.
"I really wasn't thinking about being a coach," said Thomas,...