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Last season Thomsen’s instruction helped seniors Christian

Westerman (Second-Team All-Pac-12) and Vi Teofilo (Honorable

Mention All-Pac-12) earn Pac-12 All-Conference recognition.

The duo was part of a unit that enabled ASU to finish in the top

third of the Pac-12 in total offense (477.5 yards per game). Both

Westerman (selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the fifth round of

the NFL Draft) and Teofilo (signed by the San Diego Chargers as a

rookie free agent) would go on to earn NFL opportunities.

In 2014 Thomsen mentored First Team All-Pac-12 left guard

Jamil Douglas and Second Team All-Pac-12 center Nick Kelly. The

combination of Douglas and Kelly paved the way for D.J Foster to

record a 1,000-yard rushing campaign and played a pivotal role in

the Sun Devil offense recording a 91-percent conversion rate on

red zone trips (12th in the nation) and scoring 37 points per game

(16th in nation.) Douglas would go on to be drafted by the Miami

Dolphins in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

In his first year at ASU, Thomsen mentored 2013 First Team All-

Pac-12 left tackle Evan Finkenberg and left guard Douglas (Second

Team All-Pac-12), a duo that helped the Sun Devils' offense collect

320 first downs (10th in the nation), post a 90-percent conversion

rate on red zone trips (13th in the nation) and score 41 points per

game (ninth in the nation).

One of only two teams in the Pac-12 in 2013 to start the

same five offensive linemen all season, the Devils' line helped

running back Marion Grice gain 996 rushing yards and score 20

touchdowns, and quarterback Taylor Kelly pass for 3,635 yards.

Thomsen spent the 2012 season as the offensive line coach

at Texas Tech. He was previously hired by Graham in December

2011 as an assistant coach, but Thomsen left ASU the following

February to become the offensive line coach at Texas Tech. He took

over as the Red Raiders' interim head coach two days after Tommy

Tuberville resigned to take the head coaching job at Cincinnati and

led Texas Tech to a 34-31 win over Minnesota in the 2012 Meineke

Car Care Bowl.

While at Texas Tech, Thomsen coached left tackle LaAdrian

Waddle, who started eight games as a rooke at right tackle for the

Detroit Lions in 2013. Waddle earned 2012 First-Team All-Big 12

Conference accolades and Texas Tech’s offensive line yielded the

fewest quarterback sacks per game and also averaged the most

yards per carry on offense since 2008.

Prior to his first stint at ASU, Thomsen spent the previous seven

seasons as head coach of the Division II Abilene Christian Wildcats,

From a 4-6 debut in 2005, Thomsen led the Wildcats to a 47-15 record

over the final six seasons and six straight trips to the NCAA Division II

playoffs. His final record at ACU over seven seasons was 51-21.

Thomsen turned the ACU program into a perennial contender

under his watch, winning the Lone Star Conference South Division

Coach of the Year award four times. He led the Wildcats to an

undefeated regular season in 2010 and twice won 11 games. Between

2006-11 ACU was one of just four programs in the country to have

reached the NCAA Division II playoffs, joining Northwest Missouri

State, North Alabama and Albany State (Ga.) in that elite category.

Before Thomsen's arrival in 2005, ACU hadn't won a Lone Star

Conference championship since 1977 and hadn't won an outright

championship since 1973, but Thomsen led ACU to undisputed

league crowns in 2008 and 2010, posting perfect regular seasons

in both years. For his efforts, Thomsen was voted the LSC South

Division Coach of the Year four times in his seven seasons in the

league. Known for his high-powered offenses at ACU, Thomsen's

tenure is perhaps most famous for the 2008 NCAA Division II

playoff game against rival West Texas A&M, when the two teams

combined to break 45 NCAA Division II records in a 93-68 Abilene

Christian victory. That season, ACU led the NCAA in yards per game

(558.8) and points per game (52.3) and scored at least 40 points

11 times and at least 36 points in all 13 contests

In 2007, ACU had one of the nation's most prolific offenses,

ranking first in NCAA Division II football in scoring (49.2 ppg),

second in total offense (544.8 ypg) and sixth in passing offense

(314.0 ypg). The Wildcats also led the nation in fewest sacks

allowed (eight in 13 games).

While at ACU, the two-time AFCA Region IV Coach of the Year

coached five 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; Daryl Richardson, seventh-round pick by

the St. Louis Rams in 2012); 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.

Before becoming the head coach at Abilene Christian, Thomsen

served two seasons as offensive line coach and recruiting

coordinator for the University of Central Arkansas. He began his

coaching career in 1994 as a graduate assistant at ACU before

spending two seasons as the offensive line coach and one as

the defensive line coach. He was named the Wildcats' offensive

coordinator in 1998, spending two seasons in that position. After

spending one season away from football, he got back into coaching

in 2001, spending two years as offensive coordinator at Wichita

Falls High School before joining Central Arkansas.

Thomsen played football three seasons (1988-90) and baseball

one season (All-America and All-Southwest Conference with 21

home runs and a .373 batting average) at Texas Christian University

before being selected in the 17th round of the Major League Baseball

Amateur Draft by the Oakland Athletics. He was TCU's Male Athlete

of the Year in 1991. Thomsen went on to play for two seasons in

Oakland's minor league system. After retiring from baseball, he

returned to the college gridiron, playing one season at ACU. He was

a First-Team All-Lone Star Conference tight end for the Wildcats,

earning Second-Team All-American honors. He earned a Bachelor of

Science in criminal justice from TCU in December 1993 and received

his master's in secondary education from ACU in 2000.

CHRIS

THOMSEN

A S S I S T A N T H E A D C O A C H

OFFENSIVE LINE

Chris Thomsen enters his fourth season as assistant head coach and

offensive line coach at Arizona State under head coach Todd Graham.

Thomsen was named ASU's running backs coach on Jan. 11, 2013,

but moved over to coach the offensive line on Mar. 19, 2013.

61

MEDIA GUIDE

SUN DEVIL FOOTBALL 2016