FOOTBALL: Thompson glad to be at Georgia State

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


4 Responses to “FOOTBALL: Thompson glad to be at Georgia State”

  1. Jimmy Barbee Says:

    The best to John Thompson and Bill Curry at Georgia State.

    My take on the Rebel defense is that it has not been too effective since Billy Brewer and Joe Lee Dunn days. Even under the high powered offense of Eli and Coach Cutcliffe the defense was still not that impressive. I think we will see a change this season. I have been around for a long time and seen many good Rebel teams. Under this new coaching staff I really feel good that we are going to see Ole Miss back to old tradition. Winning, bowls appearance, national ratings. GO REBELS!!!!

  2. djrebel Says:

    Jimmy, I think Chuck Driesbach’s defense was pretty good in 2003. It got better as the season went on. That bunch still had a tendency to give up big plays, but it gave the Rebels a chance to win in some big games against Florida, Auburn and LSU. Ole Miss had the misfortune in 2003 of being really good when LSU was very very good.

    — PA

  3. Jimmy Barbee Says:

    Thanks PA. Joe Lee Dunn did the best.

  4. VA Reb Says:

    The only problem with Joe Lee is that as soon as teams figured him out, they could stop him….his success wasn’t too long lived anywhere. I always thought he was a little too gimmicky instead of just playing good, sound defense. Although, I do give him credit…early on he could bring the heat and really confuse some QBs.

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