Former Arkansas State defensive coordinator to join Bobcats

Sports Editor

Coach Dennis Franchione announced Monday afternoon John Thompson will be the new defensive coordinator for the Texas State football team.

Thompson spent his last two seasons as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Arkansas State, and will be bringing more than 30 years of experience with him.

Thompson served as the Red Wolves’ interim coach at the 2013 GoDaddy.com Bowl and captured a 17-13 victory over No. 25 Kent State. The victory marked the first bowl win for the team since 1960 and was the first win over a top 25 team since Arkansas State joined the FBS in 1992.

Thompson has worked 26 seasons as a coordinator and was the head coach at East Carolina for two years. Thompson has worked as a defensive coordinator or co-coordinator at Southeastern Conference universities such as Mississippi, Florida, Arkansas, South Carolina and LSU. He has led defenses at Memphis, Southern Miss, Louisiana Tech and Northwestern State (in Louisiana) as well.

Thompson has had more than 40 of his defensive players drafted by or sign with NFL teams. He coached five All-Americans and 44 players who earned All-Conference honors. Gary Reasons, former Northwestern State linebacker, has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and played under Thompson.

“I have known John (Thompson) a lot of years and always had a great deal of respect for him and his defense,” Franchione said. “His defense causes you problems on offense. Everywhere I have been, he caused us problems offensively. He did it last year, and he did it at Arkansas. Not very often do you have a chance to hire someone who was a defensive coordinator at four different SEC schools. He is a coach with great knowledge, great experience and a great background in coaching.  We feel very fortunate to have him on our staff.”

The Bobcats will open their season Aug. 30 at home against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.