Arizona State Football coach Todd Graham added yet another assistant coach to his staff Friday, as it was announced that former Abilene Christian head coach Chris Thomsen has accepted a position at ASU. Per this report, Thomsen will coach 'offensive backs' for ASU.
Chris Thompsen took over at ACU seven seasons ago, inheriting a team that hadn't won a Lone Star Conference championship since 1977 and hadn't won an outright championship since 1973. He led ACU to a 4-6 debut in 2005, then took the Wildcats to a 47-15 record over the final six seasons and six straight trips to the NCAA Division II playoffs.
Despite his success in Abilene, Thompson noted that he couldn't pass up the opportunity to coach in the Pac-12, and said, of Arizona State, "This is a great area, and I believe it's a program that has a ton of potential. I'm excited to be part of coach Graham's staff and what's going to happen here."
This looks like a good get for the Sun Devils. Per the ASU press release, Thompson, the the two-time AFCA Region IV Coach of the Year, coached four NFL draft choices (Danieal Manning, 42nd pick, second round by the Chicago Bears in 2006; Johnny Knox, fifth-round pick by the Bears in 2009; Bernard Scott, sixth-round pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2009; Clyde Gates, fourth-round pick by the Miami Dolphins in 2011); an NFL Pro Bowl selection (Knox in 2009), a Harlon Hill Award winner (Scott in 2008), the award that is the NCAA Division II equivalent of the Heisman Trophy; and a Gene Upshaw Award winner (Sam Collins in 2008), signifying the top lineman in NCAA Division II football.