Abilene Christian head coach Chris Thomsen is among 12 finalists for the head coaching job at Sam Houston State University, the Huntsville Item reported Tuesday.
Thomsen is said to be among the finalists for the Bearkats position, vacated after the firing of head coach Todd Whitten last week. Whitten, the former head coach at Tarleton State University compiled a 25-28 record over five seasons at SHSU, including a 5-6 record last season. The Bearkats finished fifth in the Southland Conference last season as a member of the Football Championship Subdivision.
Other candidates for the Sam Houston job include Kansas wide receivers coach David Beaty, Duke defensive coordinator Mike
Macintyre and Washington Redskins tight ends coach Scott Wachenheim. The Huntsville newspaper reported none of the candidates had interviewed for the position in person but the
university had made overtures by phone.
ACU athletic director Jared Mosley attributes Thomsen’s inclusion on the list of finalists to the football team’s overwhelming success in recent years. Thomsen has amassed a 42-17 record as the Wildcats’ head coach, and earned four straight appearances in the Division II playoffs.
“I think that anytime in the athletic arena that you have success, your coaches are going to have opportunities and draw interest from other schools,” Mosley said.
While Thomsen is among the finalists, SHSU will not make its decision until it narrows the list of finalists, Mosley said. He said the process of finding a new head coach is tedious as a university attempts to find a good fit. Mosley calls the talks very preliminary, saying that he hopes to have Thomsen back next season.
“I think it’s a compliment any time our coaches have an opportunity like this,” Mosley said. “With that said, I want to do everything in our power to keep him here. We have some great coaches that represent ACU.”
Thomsen could not be reached for comment.