John Thompson new DC at Texas State

John Thompson, former University of Central Arkansas athletic director and the defensive coordinator at Arkansas State for two years, is the new defensive coordinator at Texas State.

Thompson served as interim head coach for ASU during the last two bowl games but was not retained on the new staff.

"I have known John a lot of years and always had a great deal of respect for him and his defense," said Texas State coach Dennis Franchione. "His defense causes you problems on offense. Everywhere I have been, he caused us problems offensively. He did it last year and he did it at Arkansas. Not very often do you have a chance to hire someone who has a defensive coordinator at four different SEC schools (Arkansas, Ole Miss, South Carolina and Florida). He is a coach with great knowledge, great experience and a great background in coaching. We feel very fortunate to have him on our staff."

Thompson also served as Arkansas State’s interim head coach at the 2013 Bowl when he led the Red Wolves to a 17-13 victory over then No. 25 Kent State. The victory was ASU’s first bowl victory since 1960 and also marked its first win over a Top 25 team since in joined the FBS in 1992.

In 2012, Arkansas State’s defense ranked first among Sun Belt Conference teams in scoring defense and third in total defense. The Red Wolves had four All-Sun Belt Conference selections, including first-team choices Nathan Herrold at linebacker and Carrethers on the defensive line.

Thompson has worked 26 seasons as a coordinator and was the head coach at East Carolina for two years. He has worked as defensive coordinator or co-coordinator at Southeastern Conference schools Mississippi, Florida, Arkansas, South Carolina and LSU, as well as at Memphis, Southern Mississippi, Louisiana Tech and Northwestern State.

Thompson went to Arkansas State after serving as Georgia State’s assistant head coach for scheduling and strategic planning and defensive coordinator. Thompson also coached inside linebackers at Georgia State, where he spent the previous four seasons.

At native of Forrest City, he is the brother-in-law of Steve Daniels, Conway High athletic director.

Three from Conway win in Golden Gloves

Three boxers from Billespie Boxing of Conway won regional titles placed high recently at the Arkansas State Golden Gloves tournament at North Little Rock.

Austyn Sitzes of Greenbrier was the champion in the novice 132-pound division.

Thad Kilpatrick of Conway won the novice 156-pound division.

Keith Johnson of Conway was runner-up in the open heavyweight division.

The three qualified for the South Regional Golden Gloves, April 10-12, at the North Little Rock Community Center. The winners of that event advance to the national competition at Las Vegas.

Rodney Gillespie, owner of Gillespie Boxing, has trained Sitzes and Kilpatrick for several years.