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Giants hire Joel Thomas as running backs coach, Aaron Wellman returns

The Giants hire their RB coach and Aaron Wellman returns to oversee strength and conditioning

NFL: New Orleans Saints Minicamp Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants announced Tuesday afternoon that they’ve hired Joel Thomas to be their new running backs coach, and Aaron Wellman will be their new Executive Director of Player Performance.

Thomas had previously been the New Orleans Saints running backs coach, a position he’s held since 2015. The Giants requested — and were granted — permission from the Saints to interview Thomas on Sunday. So once again they’ve wasted no time in hiring a coach who apparently impressed.

While the Saints haven’t been known as a rushing powerhouse, Thomas did oversee the development of Alvin Kamara. It remains to be seen if elements of how the Saints evaluated and have used Kamara will be incorporated into the Giants’ process.

Thomas replaces Jeff Nixon, who left the Giants after one season to become the offensive coordinator at Syracuse University.

The Giants have also brought back Aaron Wellman to oversee the team’s strength and conditioning program.

Wellman was originally hired as the team’s strength and conditioning coach in 2016 and was charged with updating the team’s S&C program to improve performance and minimize the risk of injury. He served in that role for four years, until he left the Giants to run Indiana University’s S&C program in 2020. Wellman has been running strength and conditioning programs since 2011. Interestingly, this will be his second time working with linebacker Micah McFadden, who was an All-American for Indiana.

Wellman replaces Craig Fitzgerald, who was the Giants’ director of strength and performance and left recently to take the same position at the University of Florida.

The Giants still need a defensive coordinator, special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach.