College football notes: Northwestern State hires Thomas

Northwestern State hired former Nicholls State coach Jay Thomas as its new football coach, athletic director Greg Burke said Thursday night.

Thomas, 52, is slated to be introduced Friday. He was defensive coordinator and assistant head coach for the past year at Division II Missouri Southern following two seasons as the Demons’ defensive line coach and assistant head coach.

Thomas, a Baker native, spent 14 seasons at Nicholls, the final five (2004-09) as head coach. He had a 27-35 record that included Nicholls’ only Southland Conference championship (2005 co-championship) and wins over four nationally ranked teams and FBS squad Rice. His Colonels finished 2005 ranked 17th in the Sports Network’s FCS Top 25 and reached a school-record high ranking of 13th in 2007.

Thomas replaces Bradley Dale Peveto, whose contract was not renewed after a 4-7 season that was the Demons’ fourth straight losing year.

Oregon

KELLY ON NCAA INVESTIGATION: Oregon coach Chip Kelly said the Ducks have cooperated fully with the NCAA investigation into the school’s use of recruiting services, and he isn’t surprised that the process has taken so long.

Kelly spoke after practice Thursday, addressing a Yahoo Sports report the day before that Oregon is likely headed toward a hearing with the NCAA committee on possible infractions because the sides couldn’t come to an agreement on appropriate sanctions. Yahoo cited two unidentified sources.

“(The NCAA has) a process and a review that they go through and, until they make their findings public, we can’t really comment on it,” he said. “But we’ve cooperated fully.”

The inquiry is the result of reports that surfaced last year concerning payments Oregon made to recruiting services, including a $25,000 payment to Willie Lyles and Houston-based Complete Scouting Services in 2010. Lyles had a relationship with a player who committed to Oregon.

The NCAA doesn’t comment on investigations.

Alabama

Mosley to return: Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley is returning for his senior season instead of entering the NFL draft. The consensus All-American said he wants to graduate next December and has “a lot I still haven’t accomplished yet as far as football goals.”

Mosley said it wasn’t a tough decision, and he has known for a while that he would come back. Quarterback AJ McCarron also has announced he’ll return.

Mosley was a finalist for the Butkus Award, given to the nation’s top linebacker. Mosley leads the nation’s top defense with 99 tackles and added four sacks and two interceptions.

Florida State

SEMINOLES NAB ALABAMA AIDE: Alabama secondary coach Jeremy Pruitt is Florida State’s new defensive coordinator.

Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher announced that Pruitt will replace Mark Stoops, who took the Kentucky head coaching job. Pruitt has been on Nick Saban’s staff for three years; Fisher was Saban’s offensive coordinator at LSU.

Louisiana Tech

SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED: Louisiana Tech announced its 2013 nonconference schedule, and the Skip Holtz era will begin with an Aug. 31 trip to N.C. State.

The Bulldogs’ home opener is against FCS squad Lamar on Sept. 7. They also travel to Kansas on Sept. 21 and face Army in the inaugural Heart of Dallas Kickoff Classic Sept. 28 at the Cotton Bowl.

Around the nation

Utah State promoted offensive coordinator Matt Wells, 39, to head coach. He replaces Gary Andersen, who left for Wisconsin. ... New Arkansas State coach Bryan Harsin announced that defensive coordinator John Thompson will be retained and that Texas graduate assistant Blake Baker was hired as a defensive coach. ... Richard McNutt is going with Dave Doeren from Northern Illinois to N.C. State, where he will be cornerbacks coach.