Football coach Troy Taylor’s first season at Sac State taking shape

Taylor hires new coaching staff, NCAA grants player extensions


Thomas Frey - The State Hornet

Sac State Athletic Director Mark Orr (left) and new Sac State football coach Troy Taylor hold up a jersey at Taylor’s introductory press conference Dec. 18 at Broad Fieldhouse.

Thomas Frey, Sports editor

Less than a month after Troy Taylor was named the head football coach at Sacramento State, questions that surrounded the 2019 season are starting to be answered.

Taylor has set his coaching staff and received notice from the NCAA that four crucial players — including quarterback Kevin Thomson — have been given extra eligibility.

Thomson, who has played for the Hornets for two years after transferring from University of Nevada, Las Vegas, has been given two more years of eligibility. He is currently ranked 12th all-time in passing yards in Sac State history.

Offensive lineman Wyatt Ming, kicker Devon Medeiros and defensive lineman George Obinna have also been granted an extra year due to missing the past season with an injury.

Obinna played in two games in 2018 after recording 8.5 sacks as a junior in 2017.

“I’m looking forward to how coach Troy can change the program,” Obinna said. “I don’t think my role should really change, it’s my same role, just leader of the defense. More of a lead by example type of defensive captain, that’s what I hope to be. I want to show freshmen how it can be done and how it doesn’t have to be as hard as you make it.”

RELATED: Troy Taylor introduced as next head football coach at Sac State

Obinna’s positional coach, Will Plemons, was one of just two assistant coaches from the Jody Sears era to retain their jobs.

Thomas Frey – The State Hornet
Defensive tackle George Obinna meets new head coach Troy Taylor following Taylor’s introductory press conference Dec. 18.

Taylor also kept running back coach James Montgomery, who will be entering his sixth season coaching at Sac State after playing at University of California, Berkeley. In 2018, he helped sophomore running back Elijah Dotson be named first-team all-Big Sky Conference after rushing for 1,154 yards and nine touchdowns.

Among the coaches not returning is Paul Wulff, a former head coach at Washington State who had been Sears assistant head coach since 2016.

Taylor’s new assistant head coach will be former Folsom High School head coach Kris Richardson, who has won back-to-back California state championships. Richardson and Taylor were co-head coaches at Folsom from 2012 to 2015 where the Bulldogs went 58-3 and won a California state title in 2014.

Bobby Fresques also comes from Folsom High School where he has been an offensive coach since 2009. He will be Sac State’s quarterbacks coach.

Fresques was the Hornets quarterback from 1990 to 1992 and is ranked ninth all-time in school history in passing yards.

At Taylor’s introductory press conference, he said he wanted to bring in someone as defensive coordinator that he can trust to give control to. He picked former Northern Arizona University defensive coordinator Andy Thompson who spent the last 10 years running the Lumberjacks’ defense.

Taylor filled out the rest of his coaching staff by hiring Allen Brown to coach cornerbacks, Sam Cole to coach safeties, Jeremy LaPan to coach special teams and tight ends and Chris Parry to be the recruiting coordinator.

RELATED: Jody Sears Q&A: What went wrong at Sac State — and what’s next

Additional reporting by Dominique Walker