Malzahn, Red Wolves Add John Thompson As Defensive Coordinator

Arkansas State’s coaching staff is again complete.

John Thompson, a 29-year veteran coordinator and assistant, is joining the Red Wolves’ staff. Thompson is a native of Forrest City and has been working as defensive coordinator at Georgia State.

Here’s more from Arkansas State:

Thompson has worked 25 seasons as a coordinator and was also the head coach at East Carolina for two years. Recognized as a top defensive mind, Thompson has worked as defensive coordinator or co-coordinator at Southeastern Conference schools Mississippi, Florida, Arkansas, South Carolina and LSU, as well as at Memphis, Southern Mississippi, Louisiana Tech and Northwestern State.

As a defensive coordinator, Thompson has seen more than 40 of his defensive players drafted by, or sign with, National Football League teams. Forty of his defenders earned all-conference honors, five were named all-America, and one, former Northwestern State linebacker Gary Reasons, has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

“We are excited to add another coach to our staff who has strong ties to the state of Arkansas,” said Malzahn.  “Coach Thompson is not only well respected for the great success he’s enjoyed at the highest level of college football, but also as a person of tremendous character.  We are happy to welcome him to our Arkansas State family.”

A high school quarterback, Thompson was inducted into the Forrest City High School Hall of Fame in 2006. His playing career also includes two seasons as a defensive back at Central Arkansas. He earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from UCA in 1978.

Thompson and his wife, Charleen, have two sons, Cabe and Hays.

ASU hired Thompson to replace Keith Patterson who left for West Virginia. Thompson and the Red Wolves begin spring practice on March 12.