For the first time since taking over at Duquesne, Keith Dambrot might be in the market for a new assistant coach.
Sources tell Pittsburgh Sports Now that longtime Dambrot assistant coach Charles Thomas is the leading candidate for the vacant heading coaching position at Eastern Michigan, which is his alma mater.
The 51-year old Thomas has been an assistant coach with Dambrot for the last 11 seasons, seven with Akron and the last four at Duquesne.
This would be a homecoming of sorts for Thomas, who’s enjoyed plenty of basketball success in the state of Michigan. Thomas played for Everett High School in Lansing, Michigan and then played college basketball at Eastern Michigan and played for the Detroit Pistons during the 1991-92 season.
After playing extensively in the CBA and overseas, Thomas started his coaching career as an assistant at Radford in 2006 and then moved to Northwood in 2007 before joining Dambrot’s staff at Akron in 2009 and has been with him ever since.
The Eastern Michigan job became open when Rob Murphy left to become the new president and general manager of the Motor City Cruise, the Detroit Piston’s incoming G League affiliate. Murphy had been head coach at Eastern Michigan for the last 10 seasons.
In 10 seasons at Eastern Michigan, Murphy compiled a record of 165-155 and made postseason appearances in 2014, 2015 and 2018. Last season, the Eagles were just 6-12.
If Thomas gets the job as expected, look for Dambrot to try and get Carl Thomas, Charles twin brother, to take his spot on the staff. Carl is currently the assistant to the head coach and like Charles, he’s been at Duquesne for the last four seasons.
Carl Thomas also played collegiate basketball at Eastern Michigan, where he actually served as an assistant from 2005 thru 2011.