Malzahn Will Not Coach ASU In Bowl Game

December 6, 2012 · By · Filed Under Football, Sun Belt Conference 

On Wednesday, Arkansas State Athletic Director Terry Mohajir announced defensive coordinator John Thompson will be the Red Wolves interim head football coach effective immediately. This move means that former head coach Gus Malzahn will not coach the Red Wolves in the Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on January 6.

Thompson has over 30 years of experience at the collegiate level both as an assistant coach and as a head coach. He will oversee ASU’s preparations for their bowl game and fill the head coaching duties at game time.

“Not only does coach Thompson’s wealth of experience make him an excellent fit to assume the role of interim head coach, but he is also man of character with great leadership qualities who has earned a great deal of respect from this administration and the players,” Mohajir stated. “We are confident he will help our football program make a smooth transition into the postseason, while also giving this team a tremendous opportunity to finish the season on a successful note in the Bowl.”

“The decision to move forward with an interim head coach for the Bowl was not made lightly, but we feel it is in the best interest of our student-athletes since Coach Malzahn will understandably be consumed with his commitments to Auburn and not be able to give his full attention to this team and its upcoming preparations for the postseason bowl,” said Mohajir.

Thompson, as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach this season, oversaw the Red Wolves defense that ranked first in the conference in scoring defense and third in total defense. ASU led the conference with 10 selections to the All-Sun Belt Conference.

“We have a mature group of players with strong leadership, and I am certain this team and coaching staff is going to rise to the occasion,” Thompson said. “The team has improved on a weekly basis, and we expect it to continue to get better and compete at an even higher level. This has been a special season and everyone associated with this program wants to finish the year strong, none more so than our players and coaches. I know we will continue to show the same commitment we demonstrated all year that resulted in a Sun Belt Conference championship.”

Names that have been mentioned as possible head coaches for Arkansas State are: Texas A&M offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury, Texas’ Co-Offensive coordinator Major Applewhite, former University of North Carolina head coach Butch Davis and former University of South Florida head coach Skip Holtz.


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