Skip to main content

20-Year Veteran NFL and College Coach Glenn Thomas Named OC/QB’s Coach At ASU

Jan 31, 2022

TEMPE, Ariz. – NFL and college football veteran coach Glenn Thomas, known for his creative game planning and outstanding quarterback development, has been named Offensive Coordinator/Quarterback Coach at Arizona State University, head coach Herm Edwards announced Monday.  
 
During his 20-plus years of coaching, Thomas has coached some of the game's top players at several different levels, while recognizing what it takes to build a productive unit. As quarterbacks coach of the Atlanta Falcons, he was influential in the development of NFL Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Ryan, with three of Ryan's most productive professional seasons coming under Thomas. He has turned heads after recent stints at Baylor, UNLV and Temple as a play caller, proving himself at the collegiate level as well. 
 
"Glenn Thomas has spent the past 20 years working specifically with quarterbacks and coordinating offenses both in the NFL and in college football," says Edwards. "He is known around football circles for his expertise in quarterback play, with quarterback mechanics and getting them to play at their optimum level.  His work with Matt Ryan in Atlanta speaks for itself as Matt enjoyed the best years of his career under Glenn. Also, he's worked with young quarterbacks in college and has made them highly successful. I am pleased to welcome Glenn to Tempe and excited to have him coordinate our offense."
 
"Glenn is known as one of the truly bright young coaches in the game of football today," says Brian Billick, Offensive Analyst, Advisor to the Head Coach at ASU.  "His broad-based experiences gleaned from the NFL and from his college work from Temple to Baylor to UNLV, make him ideally suited to work with the student-athletes in our quarterback room and to coordinate our offense at ASU."
 
"I am beyond fired up and humbled to be a part of a top-tier program at a top-tier University," says Thomas.  "A great foundation has been laid at ASU and I am proud to be able to help build upon that. I'm appreciative of Coach Edwards, Coach Brian Billick and Ray Anderson for this opportunity and to work side-by-side with them.  I can't wait to get into the QB room and go to work with the Sun Devil offense."
 
Thomas comes to Tempe after a previous stop at UNLV, serving as the Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks coach over the past two seasons. He helped lead the Rebels to several historical accomplishments during that time, including helping running back Charles Williams break the program's career rushing record. With the most career rushing yards in the FBS (4,201) among all current players, Williams passed Tim Cornett (2010-13) to become UNLV's rushing king and later became just the fourth Mountain West player to reach the 4,000-yard mark. During Thomas' two seasons, Williams rushed for 1,751 yards on 370 carries in only 18 games. 
 
In 2021, Williams had a career year in Thomas' offense, rushing for 1,256 yards and 15 touchdowns. He led the league with 15 rushing touchdowns, which tied for fourth in school history, while his career-best 1,261 yards tied for the sixth-most in UNLV history. Williams was named the Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Week on November 15 after finishing with 266 net yards rushing, which tied for the second-most in school history and marked the third-best outing in the nation that season. His 38 carries that day broke Ickey Woods' 34-year-old school record for attempts in a game. Williams, who set a career-high with 202 receiving yards last fall, also turned in a 221-yard night against Utah State, making him only the fourth Rebel to post at least two 200-yard games in a career.
 
After enjoying a breakout season in Thomas' offense, Williams was named the Mountain West First-Team All-Conference selection at running back. He was the first UNLV running back to earn a first-team all-league honor more than once in a career (2019). Williams was far from the only bright spot on the Rebel offense, as signs of improvement were apparent despite rotating two true freshman quarterbacks. 
 
One of those quarterbacks, Cameron Friel, was named the Mountain West Freshman of the Year. It is the second consecutive year that a Rebel won the award under Thomas' tutelage, with wide receiver Kyle Williams claiming the 2020 honor. Friel broke the school record for completion percentage in a season by a freshman with a 62.4 clip, which also tied Hall of Famer Randall Cunningham (1984) for third overall by any Rebel. Friel played in nine games, starting eight, and led the team in passing yards with 1,608 and touchdown passes with six. He was named the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Week on November 8 after leading his team to a win at New Mexico. On October 2, his 307 yards on 25 completions at undefeated UTSA marked the most yards thrown by a UNLV QB since 2018 and the most ever thrown in one game by a true freshman for the Rebels. Nationally among all freshmen, Friel's season completion percentage ranked fourth while his mark of 178.7 yards per game stood seventh.
 
Wide receiver Steve Jenkins had three 100-yard performances, emerging as a go-to target. Fellow pass catcher Kyle Williams joined him in eclipsing 600-yards for the season, doing so in only 10 games.
 
Prior to his stint in Las Vegas, he spent the previous three seasons as co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Big 12 Conference contender Baylor. The Bears went 11-3 that season and ranked No. 7 in the final CFP ranking en route to an appearance in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. While in Waco from 2017-19, Thomas developed Charlie Brewer into one of the most prolific quarterbacks in program history, totaling 69 touchdown passes in three years. The 2019 Davey O'Brien Award Semifinalist threw for 3,161 yards and 21 touchdowns along with rushing for 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 along with head coach Matt Rhule after serving together at Temple University from 2015-16. In two years with the Owls, one as quarterbacks coach and the second as offensive coordinator, Thomas helped the program post the school's first back-to-back 10-win seasons and bowl berths and capture the 2016 American Athletic Conference title. Under Thomas' direction in 2016, the 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). In his first season at Temple, Thomas mentored junior QB P.J. Walker as he threw for 3,295 yards and 22 touchdowns.
 
Prior to his arrival in Philadelphia, Thomas spent seven seasons in the NFL. He was the Atlanta Falcons quarterbacks coach for three seasons after four years as an offensive assistant for the club. During the three seasons when Thomas guided quarterback Matt Ryan, the former first-round pick threw for more than 4,500 and 26 touchdowns in each campaign, earning Pro Bowl honors in 2013 and 2015 and cementing himself as the best quarterback in franchise history. In 2012, Ryan set franchise single-season highs in passing yards (4,719), touchdown passes (32) and completion percentage (68.6). Atlanta's offense also featured perennial all-pros Roddy White and Julio Jones at wide receiver, Michael Turner at running back, and legendary tight end Tony Gonzalez, an NFL Hall of Famer.
 
Prior to joining the Falcons, Thomas coached at Midwestern State in Wichita Falls, Texas, from 2001-07. As a graduate assistant coaching wide receivers from 2001-04, the Mustangs won the Lone Star North Division Championship in his first season. Thomas oversaw the school's passing game and quarterbacks in the 2004 campaign and helped guide MSU to its first NCAA Division II playoff appearance in school history. Thomas transformed MSU's offense into a powerhouse while serving as coordinator from 2005-07. During his final season, the Mustang offense led the entire NCAA in total offense (550.0 yards per game) and rushing yards per game (317.0).
 
Between seasons at Midwestern State, Thomas spent time with the Baltimore Ravens. He was responsible for working with wide receivers (2002-03, '05) and helped with Baltimore's quarterbacks. It was there where he was introduced to future Falcons head coach Mike Smith. The two also worked together during Smith's tenure with the Jacksonville Jaguars for one season in 2004.
 
Following his graduation from Texas Tech, Thomas began his coaching career as a student assistant at his alma mater from 1998-2001.