FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -Atlanta Falcons assistant Emmitt Thomas was promoted Wednesday to interim head coach for the final three games of the regular season. He replaces Bobby Petrino, who resigned to become coach at Arkansas.
A 64-year-old assistant with the Falcons since 2002, Thomas has no previous experience as a head coach, but has 28 years in coaching. He's the first black head coach in the team's history.
Thomas will serve out the season following the sudden resignation of Petrino on Tuesday to return to college coaching.
The Falcons have scheduled a news conference for 2 p.m. to address the situation. Team owner Arthur Blank and general manager Rich McKay are expected to speak at the news conference.
Thomas will direct the team's practice Wednesday afternoon.
It was not known if all other assistants under Petrino, including his brother, wide receivers coach Paul Petrino, would remain for the final three games.
Emmitt Thomas went into coaching in 1979 as defensive coordinator at Central Missouri State. He has coached for six NFL teams and served as defensive coordinator for Philadelphia, Green Bay and Minnesota.

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