February 3, 2012

Thomsen will join coaching staff

No official announcement has been made regarding a new offensive line coach to replace Jim Turner has been made, but Chris Thomsen will be the Red Raiders' offensive line coach in 2012.

He's already started his duties, according to offensive coordinator Neal Brown.

"We're going to hire Chris Thomsen who's been at Arizona State for about the past six weeks," Brown told RedRaiderSports's Chris Level and Aaron Dickens on their Lubbock radio show "Tech Talk" on Double T 104.3 FM. "Previous to that, he was the head coach at Abilene Christian (University). He took a program that was struggling in the Lone Star Conference and took them to six straight Division II playoffs and led all of Division II in total offense at least two of those years.

"The thing that's most impressive to me is he was the head coach and basically the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach and they were an offense that was around 300 yards passing and 250 yards rushing. That's the kind of balance we'd love to have here. He's a great teacher, a great recruiter in the state. When (Tech track coach) Wes Kittley says the man can recruit, that's something. He's actually starting work today."

Thomsen will replace Turner who resigned after a couple of weeks on the job to rejoin his former boss in Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman. Turner spent the past four seasons as Sherman's offensive line coach at Texas A&M.

Thomsen inherited an Abilene Christian program in 2005 that had not won a conference title since 1977. After going 4-6 in his first year, Thomsen led Abilene Christian to conference titles in 2007 and 2010 and finished his career at Abilene Christian with a 51-21 record.

Prior to his first head coaching job Thomsen played football for three years at TCU and subsequently Abilene Christian after a two-year professional baseball stint with the Oakland A's franchise. Upon graduation from Abilene Christian, Thomsen was a graduate assistant in the program and subsequently was hired as an offensive line and defensive line coach as well as the Wildcats' recruiting director.

Thomsen left the coaching profession for two years and resurfaced in 2001 as the offensive coordinator at Wichita Falls (Texas) High School and then became the offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator at Central Arkansas before returning to Abilene Christian as its head coach.

When head coach Todd Graham took the Arizona State in December, he asked Thomsen to come along as his running backs coach. Thomsen and Graham first met when Graham was coaching high school football and Thomsen was recruiting some of Graham's players.

But Thomsen is a West Texas guy and when the Tech job reopened for a second time since the end of the 2011 season Thomsen had to take it.

"He loves West Texas," Brown said. "He loves Texas Tech and what it stands for and what it's about. He truly is excited to be here. He left an opportunity at Arizona State, he's been wanting to get into Division I football and he got that opportunity. When this situation arrived, no hesitation. He jumped on it."


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