GREENVILLE, S.C. — The Greenville Swamp Rabbits have announced the hiring of Kahlil Thomas as assistant coach, to complete the coaching staff for the 2018–19 season with Kevin Kerr at the helm as head coach. Thomas, a former longtime professional hockey player with championship experience, rounds out a strong staff for the Swamp Rabbits heading into the season.
Thomas, 42, played in nine professional leagues in three different countries for almost 700 games, and was a prolific playmaker during his time as a pro right winger. He transitioned to player development after the conclusion of his pro career in 2008, and then more recently to coaching, he spent the 2016–17 season as general manager and head coach of the Oshawa Riverkings of the GMHL.
“I’m very excited to work for the organization, and very excited to work with Kevin,” Thomas said. “I want to support Kevin, and that’s my number one task, but also I want to help get wins and improve the record from last year. And, the ultimate goal is to win a championship at the end.”
Thomas and Kerr played together with the Flint Generals of the UHL, and are now reunited behind the bench with the Swamp Rabbits.
“Kahlil is a proven guy who has played pro, he has a winning pedigree, he has played on organizations that have won championships, and we decided from day one when we were building our organization that we wanted character people within our organization,” Kerr said. “Kahlil bleeds character. He loves to win. He’s all about development. He can help balance me out and make me a better coach, and I wanted to surround myself with good people who could push me.”
“He’s going to bring a winning mentality, and we want to win.”
Thomas is part of a strong hockey family, as his brother, Leo, was a longtime professional hockey player, and is now the head coach and director of hockey operations for the Macon Mayhem of the SPHL, and his son, Akil, finished a dynamite 2017–18 season with the Niagara IceDogs, and was drafted 51st overall by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2018 NHL Draft.
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