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Defensive Coaching Staff

Ricky Thomas
Defensive Pass Game Coordinator / Defensive Backs

Ricky Thomas begins his first season as the program’s defensive backs coach in 2017.

Thomas comes to SMSU after spending the past four seasons as cornerbacks coach at the University of Nevada. He replaces Mike Aldrich, who resigned in January to become the head coach at Minot State University.

Thomas brings 15 years of NFL coaching experience and six years at the collegiate level to the Mustang program. During his four seasons at Nevada, the Wolfpack appeared in two bowl games.

Prior to Nevada, Thomas coached defensive ends at Georgia State in 2012. Before Georgia State, he spent 10 seasons (2002-2011) with the Indianapolis Colts, including eight as the tight ends coach. He previously spent five seasons (1997-2001) with Tony Dungy in Tampa Bay, coaching the Buccaneers’ tight ends for three seasons and working with the running backs and special teams for two years. Thomas coached in two Super Bowls during his NFL coaching tenure, winning a championship with the Colts in Super Bowl XLI.

Thomas's coaching career began in 1988 at Marion Military Institute, where he coached defensive backs. From 1989-92, he worked at the University of Alabama as an academic advisor for the football and men’s basketball programs. Thomas taught and coached at McCallie High School in Tennessee from 1992-96.

He served as a strength and conditioning assistant at the University of Kentucky in 1996, and then was hired to coach defensive backs at Gardner Webb in 1997 before moving to the NFL later that year.

Thomas was a four-year starter (1983-86) at strong safety at the University of Alabama, while earning his bachelor's degree in health and physical education in 1987. In 1995, he earned his master's degree in exercise science from Tennessee-Chattanooga.

Ricky and his wife, Kimberly, have two children.

Brett McMurray
Inside Linebackers Coach

Brett McMurray begins his first season as an assistant coach with the SMSU football program in 2017 and will coach the team’s inside linebackers.

McMurray spent the 2016 season as an assistant at Bemidji State University where he coached the tight ends and fullbacks. BSU finished 9-3 in 2016 and won the Mineral Water Bowl.

Prior to BSU, McMurray was a linebacker coach at the College of the Redwoods (Calif.) in 2015.

McMurray played two seasons as a linebacker at Butte Community College (Calif.) before transferring and playing two seasons at Humboldt State University (Calif.).

McMurray earned his degree from Humboldt State in recreation administration in 2014.

Kyle Newsom
Outside Linebackers

Kyle Newsom is in his first year as outside linebacker coach for the SMSU football program in 2017.

Newsom comes to SMSU after a two-year career at the University of Northern Colorado. He led the Bears and the Big Sky Conference in tackles in 2016, earning second team all-conference honors. He helped lead UNC to back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in 13 years.

Prior to UNC, he played two seasons at Feather River Community College and one season at Washington State.

He spent the 2017 spring season as a volunteer assistant coach at UNC.

Newsom is a 2016 graduate of Northern Colorado with a degree in psychology.

Joe Matheson
Tight Ends

Joe Matheson is in his second season as an assistant at SMSU in 2017 and will coach the team’s tight ends.

Matheson came to SMSU after spending four years working with the University of Minnesota football program. He spent two seasons as a student manager, assisting the program in various aspects in both practice and game days. He spent his final two seasons as a student offensive assistant.

Matheson earned his bachelor’s degree from Minnesota in 2016 with a degree in marketing, entrepreneurial management.

Nick Brundy
Strength and Conditioning Coach

Nick Brundy is in his first year as head strength and conditioning coach for the SMSU football program in 2017.

Brundy comes to SMSU serving as an assistant with the UCLA strength and conditioning department during the 2016 season. Prior to UCLA, Brundy was assistant strength and conditioning coach at Augsburg College.

Brundy is a 2016 graduate of Augsburg College with a degree in health and exercise science. He was a member of the Augsburg football program for two seasons. He also played two seasons at Allan Hancock CC.

Daniel McKinney
Assistant Coach

Daniel McKinney is in his first season as an assistant coach at SMSU in 2018.

McKinney comes to SMSU after spending the past three seasons as passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach at Garden City Community College (Kan.).

McKinney had an outstanding collegiate career, spending two seasons at City College of San Francisco, where he was named an All-American and helped lead the team to the 2011 junior college national championship. He then transferred to Florida Atlantic University where he played two seasons and led the team in receptions (49) and yards (615) during the 2013 season. He was twice named honorable mention all-conference.

Following his collegiate career, McKinney signed as an undrafted free agent in 2014 with the Washington Redskins.

McKinney earned his bachelor’s degree in general studies from FAU in 2014 and is pursuing his master’s degree at SMSU.