Sac State introduces Andy Thompson as new head football coach

Former defensive coordinator accepted job Tuesday


photo courtesy of Sacramento State Athletics

The newest Sac State head football coach Andy Thompson holds up a Hornet jersey with Athletic Director Mark Orr Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, in the Welcome Center at Sacramento State. Thompson was the defensive coordinator for the past four years under former head coach Troy Taylor until his announced promotion Thursday.

Jack Freeman, Football Beat Writer

Sac State formally introduced Andy Thompson as the 12th head coach in school history in a press conference Thursday.

“I met with every single coach in our football program, student-athletes, supporters, and there was a consensus,” Athletic Director Mark Orr said. “[Thompson]’s vision, commitment to student success, matches what we look for.”

Thompson served as the defensive coordinator for three seasons under former head coach Troy Taylor. During his presser, Thompson thanked Taylor for bringing him to Sac State. 

“I wouldn’t be here, if [Taylor] didn’t give me the opportunity to come here four years ago. I’m going to build and grow everything he started here,” Thompson said.

Describing his coaching style, Thompson said he draws on his past experiences from playing and brings compassion to the locker room.

“The [players] know the expectation and know there is compassion behind it,” Thompson said. “I got a chance to play; I was in their shoes. My whole job is to build their confidence up so they can play the best they can on game day.”

Prior to joining Sac State, Thompson served as a running backs coach, linebackers coach and defensive coordinator for Northern Arizona for over a decade.

Before coaching for the Lumberjacks, Thompson served as an assistant at Eastern Oregon after his playing career as a Montana linebacker ended in 2003.

“I lost three head coaches and played for five position coaches, I know what [losing your coach] feels like,” Thompson said. “If we can keep continuity in the program with excellent coaches, it’s exciting.”

Sac State kept assistant head coach and offensive line coach Kris Richardson. Thompson described Richardson as his right-hand man, adding he brings a lot of experience to the program. 

The Hornets also promoted quarterbacks coach Bobby Fresques to offensive coordinator. Thompson said Fresques will call the plays and work with the quarterbacks.

Despite the loss of Taylor, Thompson said Sac State football’s winning ways are here to stay.

“This is a great opportunity to build on the last four years,” Thompson said. “A great experience comes with winning and we all want to win. We’ll do everything in our power to get our guys in the right spot.”

Thompson emphasized competition and how one of his main goals is to prepare his players for life after football.

“Life is not always easy, neither is competing on a national stage,” Thompson said. “If we can do those things I think [student-athletes] will live a full life after Sacramento State and that is my goal.”

To close his speech, Thompson spoke about how much coaching means to him.

“My grandfather was a coach, my father was a coach, and I take a lot of pride in being a coach,” Thompson said. “It is a great day to be a Hornet.”