Arizona State names Glenn Thomas quarterback coach and offensive coordinator

It didn’t take long for Arizona State to name a new offensive coordinator. Glenn Thomas, a veteran of the sport at the professional and collegiate levels, has been named the successor to Zak Hill, who ASU parted ways with last week.

Thomas, 44, recently held the same titles for the past two years at UNLV, but like many other Sun Devil staffers worked in the NFL where he spent time with the Falcons of Atlanta and was instrumental in the development of quarterback Matt Ryan.

Thomas wasn’t exactly an unknown commodity for the Sun Devils before the job opened up. ASU played UNLV at the start of this season. ASU also used the facilities at UNLV when they were in Las Vegas for their bowl showdown against Wisconsin in December.

“Glenn Thomas has spent the past 20 years working specifically with quarterbacks and coordinating offenses in both the NFL and college football,” ASU coach Herm Edwards said in the press release. school. “He is known in football circles for his expertise in the quarterback game, with quarterback mechanics and for getting them to play at their optimum level. His work with Matt Ryan in Atlanta speaks for itself. because Matt had the best years of his career under Glenn. Also, he worked with young quarterbacks in college and made them very successful.”

Thomas arrives in Tempe after a previous stop at UNLV, where he helped lead the Rebels to impressive numbers. Running back Charles Williams broke the program’s career record with the most career FBS rushing yards (4,201) of any current player.

Last season, Williams enjoyed a career year on Thomas’ offense, rushing for 1,256 yards and 15 touchdowns. He led the league with 15 rushing touchdowns, tied for fourth in school history, while his career-high 1,261 yards was tied for sixth in UNLV history.

“I am beyond motivated and humbled to be part of a top-tier program at a top-tier university,” Thomas said in the same statement. “A great foundation has been laid at ASU and I am proud to be able to help build on it. I appreciate Coach Edwards, Coach Brian Billick and Ray Anderson for this opportunity and working side by side with them. I can’t wait to get into the quarterback room and get to work with the Sun Devil offense.”

After enjoying a breakout season in Thomas’s offense, Williams was named Mountain West’s first-team first-team selection at running back. He was the first running back from UNLV to earn an all-league first-team honor more than once in his career (2019). Williams was far from the only bright spot on the Rebel offense, as signs of improvement were apparent despite the rotation of two true freshman quarterbacks.

One of those quarterbacks, Cameron Friel, was named Mountain West Freshman of the Year. It’s the second straight year a Rebel has won the award under Thomas’ tutelage, with wide receiver Kyle Williams claiming it in 2020. Friel broke the school record for single-season completion percentage by a freshman with a clip of 62.4, which also tied Hall’s famed Randall Cunningham (1984) for third place overall by any rebel. Friel played in nine games, starting eight, and led the team in passing yards with 1,608 and touchdowns with six.

Glenn Thomas, Arizona State's new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, worked at Baylor from 2017 to 2019.

Prior to his move to UNLV, Thomas spent the previous three seasons as an offensive co-coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Baylor. The Bears went 11-3 that season and ranked No. 7 in the final CFP standings en route to an Allstate Sugar Bowl appearance. While at Waco from 2017 to 2019, Thomas made Charlie Brewer one of the most prolific quarterbacks in program history, totaling 69 touchdown passes in three years, throwing for 3,161 yards and 21 touchdowns. as well as 344 yards and 11 scores. In Thomas’ first season on campus, Brewer was named Big 12 Co-Freshman Offensive Player of the Year.

Thomas moved to Baylor with head coach Matt Rhule after serving together at Temple from 2015 to 2016. In two years with the Owls, one as quarterbacks coach and the second as offensive coordinator, Thomas helped the program post the first consecutive 10-win seasons and school bowl berths and capture the 2016 American Athletic Conference title. Under Thomas in 2016, offensive production increased 46.9 yards per game (from 366.7 to 413.6) and 2.6 points per game (from 29.8 to 32.4).

Thomas spent seven seasons in the NFL. He was the quarterbacks coach for the Atlanta Falcons for three seasons after four years as the club’s offensive assistant. In the three seasons Thomas guided Ryan, the former first-round pick threw more than 4,500 and 26 touchdowns in each campaign, earning Pro Bowl honors in 2013 and 2015 and cementing himself as the top quarterback- back in franchise history. In 2012, Ryan set franchise single-season highs in passing yards (4,719), touchdown passes (32), and completion percentage (68.6).

The Sun Devils will return quarterback Jayden Daniels, who struggled to get the numbers he got in a breakout first season in 2019. They will look to replace their top two runners and will need to identify a threat big game in the passing game. .

Contact the reporter at [email protected] or 602 444-4783. Follow her on Twitter @MGardnerSports.

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