Andy Thompson
Andy Thompson
Title: Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
Previous College: Montana, '04

Andy Thompson was named the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Sacramento State in January of 2019.

In his first season with the Hornets, Thompson saw the defense make significant improvements from the prior year as the team 132 less yards per game, led the Big Sky in defensive pass efficiency and red zone defense and team recorded 44 sacks for the second most in program history. Individually, defensive end George Obinna earned FCS All-America honors from multiple outlets after he set the Sacramento State single-season (14.0) and career (33.5) record for sacks. Defensive tackle Dariyn Choates, cornerback Daron Bland and Obinna were each named to the all-Big Sky first team. Linebackers Marcus Bruce and Marcus Hawkins and safety Caelan Barnes were all second team selections, defensive tackle Elijah Chambers was named to the third team and defensive end Josiah Erickson earned honorable mention.

An experienced defensive coordinator in the Big Sky, Thompson spent 13 seasons at Northern Arizona. He started his coaching career with the Lumberjacks directing the running backs for two years. He then coached linebackers for two seasons before becoming the defensive coordinator for 10 years. Thompson coached more than 60 all-Big Sky selections during his time in Flagstaff, Ariz.

In 2018, NAU ranked third in the Big Sky in total defense after allowing a Big Sky best 1,797 passing yards along with 17 interceptions.

The Lumberjacks also ranked first in the Big Sky in pass defense in 2014 (177.2) and opponents third down percentage (.333), second in scoring defense (25.7), pass defense efficiency (122.2) and opponent first downs (19.2). That season, six NAU defensive players earned all-Big Sky honors, including cornerback Marcus Alford who was an All-American. Austin Haquet also became the school's first National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete and William V. Campbell Trophy semifinalist.

In 2013, his defense led the FCS with eight touchdowns en route to a playoff appearance. Ten Lumberjacks were named all-Big Sky with Lucky Dozier also taking home Associated Press All-America honors. That year, NAU finished first in total defense (348.3), pass defense (190.8), pass defense efficiency (107.7), opponent first downs (17.7), opponent third-down conversions (34.9) and opponent fourth-down conversions (29.4). NAU was also second in scoring defense (22.0) and tallied 21 sacks on the season. The Lumberjacks finished eighth in the FCS in opponent fourth-down conversions, 13th in team passing efficiency defense and 18th in scoring defense.

NAU also paced the Big Sky in pass defense in 2012 at 203.7 yards per game and ranked second in scoring defense (23.6) and total defense (342.5). A pair of players were named to the all-Big Sky first team defense and another was voted to the second team.

Thompson helped make an immediate impact on defense during the 2008 season as Northern Arizona ranked second nationally with just 59.8 rushing yards allowed per game. That mark set the school and conference record and more impressive when you consider no Lumberjack earned first team all-league honors and just one was named to the second team.

Prior to coming to NAU, Thompson coached at Eastern Oregon in 2004 under current assistant Travis Baker. At EOU, he tutored Nick Hannaw, a linebacker who signed as a free agent with the Indianapolis Colts. His special teams’ punt and kickoff return units both ranked among the NAIA top 10.

A native of Walla Walla, Wash., Thompson played for Montana for four seasons (1999, 2001-03). He helped the Grizzlies to five Big Sky championships and one national championship (2001) during his five-year career in Missoula. He played in 44 career games with 103 total tackles, including 8.5 tackles for loss.

Thompson graduated with a degree in health enhancement from Montana in May 2004. He married the former Mikal Mickleson in the summer of 2008. They have three sons, Mac, Austin, and Teague.