Archive for July 26th, 2008

FOOTBALL: Thompson glad to be at Georgia State

July 26, 2008

Former Ole Miss defensive coordinator John Thompson is back at work, rejoining old friend Bill Curry at Georgia State. He’ll be part of building a program from the ground up. The Panthers won’t play their first game until 2010.

I joked with him that had he gone to a traditional program he could be fired by the time Georgia State begins play.

Thompson was the only titled defensive coordinator Ed Orgeron had in his three years as Ole Miss head coach. Thompson didn’t get on the scene until 2007 and had a three-year contract at $300,000 a year. Had he remained out of work he’d also remained out of the soup line.

But he was lured to Atlanta for the challenge and for the opportunity to work with Curry.

Thompson was previously on Curry’s staff at Alabama in 1987 and has considered him a mentor throughout his career. Curry was someone Thompson kept in close contact with when Thompson was head coach at East Carolina from 2003-2004.

“This is so unique and different from anything I’ve done in my career. I wanted to come and work with him. That was the pull. That was the reason we did it,” Thompson said.

Thompson has already found a house in Alpharetta, and his wife Charleen and sons Cabe and Hays are expected to join him there Monday.

“When it got to be April and May I was pretty much resigned that I wasn’t going to coach. Then in June this came up, and it’s just a miracle. Coach Curry is a guy I admire so much, the way he does things, his principles and his values. This will be fun, exciting and different. Whatever we put on the field will be ours. We won’t have to overcome this or adjust to that. It will be ours.”

— PA