Giants hire Joel Thomas as RB coach, Aaron Wellman as executive director of player performance

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants announced two additions to the coaching staff, one a newcomer to the organization and one a returnee who was with the team from 2016-19.

Joel Thomas is the team's new running backs coach and Aaron Wellman is the executive director of player performance. Both coaches are 49 years old.

They join offensive line coach Carmen Brescillo as new members of the Giants' coaching staff.

Thomas is a 24-year veteran coach who spent the previous nine seasons as the New Orleans Saints' running backs coach. During that time, the Saints tied for second in the NFL with 161 rushing touchdowns and Thomas' running backs recorded 27 solo 100-yard touchdown plays.

Under Thomas' tutelage, Alvin Kamara has earned five Pro Bowl selections and is the only NFL player to have at least 1,160 yards from scrimmage in each of the past seven seasons, three of them 1,500 yards or more. Kamara is the first player in Saints history to lead the team in rushing in six consecutive seasons. He has 10,048 scrimmage yards and 78 touchdowns and is one of four players with more than 10,000 yards and more than 75 scores since entering the league in 2017. The others are Derrick Henry, Tyreek Hill and Christian McCaffrey.

Prior to joining the Saints, Thomas was the running backs coach at the University of Arkansas from 2013-14. He spent the previous four seasons (2009-12) in the same position at the University of Washington.

Thomas lettered at running back at the University of Idaho from 1993-98, where he was a two-time first-team All-Big West selection and conference player of the year as a senior and still holds Vandals career records with 3,929 rushing yards, 51 rushing touchdowns and 765 rushing attempts. . He was inducted into the University of Idaho Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008. Thomas earned a bachelor's degree in public communications in 1998.

He replaces Jeff Nixon, who left the Giants after one season to become the offensive coordinator at Syracuse University.

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