After its first bye week of the season, Houston returns to action Saturday in the Bayou Bucket
Beginning his second season with the University of Houston is veteran coach Chris Thurmond. This past season Thurmond tutored the UH cornerbacks, and senior Willie Gaston was named Conference USA Second Team by the league's head coaches.
Thurmond also serves as the Recruiting Coordinator and recruits Greater Houston, North Texas, Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, Oklahoma and the Mississippi junior colleges.
Thurmond spent three years at Texas A&M, helping the Aggies to the 2005 Cotton Bowl.
Prior to his stint in College Station, Thurmond spent two seasons (2001-02) coaching cornerbacks at the University of Alabama. In 2002, the Alabama defense led the SEC in total defense while finishing third nationally. That season the Crimson Tide also captured the SEC West title and played in the 2001 Independence Bowl. While at Alabama eight players he recruited signed NFL contracts.
Thurmond also coached twice at TCU (1995 & 1998-2000) and Tulsa (1983-91 & 1994), as well as Oklahoma (1996-97) and East Carolina (1992-93). In his second stint with the Horned Frogs, Thurmond helped lead TCU to the 2000 WAC Co-Championship, and the Frogs led the nation in scoring defense, total defense and were third in pass defense.
While at Tulsa in 1991, Thurmond's pass efficiency defense ranked eighth in the country, and the Golden Hurricane won the 1991 Freedom Bowl.
During his college coaching, Thurmond has recruited or coached numerous athletes who have gone to the NFL including Roman Harper (New Orleans Saints), Mark Anderson (Chicago Bears), Charlie Peprah (Green Bay Packers), Anthony Madison (Pittsburgh Steelers) and Willie Gaston (Baltimore Ravens).
He also spent seven years coaching in the high school ranks in the state of Oklahoma, serving as the head coach at Charles Page High School from 1981-82, and three years as defensive backs coach. Sandwiched in between his stints at Page was one year of serving as the defensive coordinator at Claremore High School.
Thurmond began his coaching career in 1975, when he coached defensive backs at McAlester High School for two seasons.
A native of Sand Springs, Okla., Thurmond graduated from the University of Tulsa in 1975 with a bachelor's degree in education. He and his wife, Paula Ann, have a 25-year-old daughter, Paige, who received her master's degree from the University of Alabama in 2007 and currently lives in Little Rock, Ark.