One game, one win. Former ACU head football coach Chris Thomsen got the first win under his belt as a Division I head coach on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012.
Thomsen led the Texas Tech Red Raiders to a nail-biting 34-31 victory over the University of Minnesota in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. He was named Tech’s interim head coach on Dec. 10 when former head coach Tommy Tuberville departed for the University of Cincinnati. Thomsen served as the offensive line coach for the Red Raiders this season after seven years as the head coach at ACU.
Coach Thomsen watched anxiously as sophomore kicker Ryan Bustin squeaked a 28-yard field goal through the uprights as time expired, giving Texas Tech its third straight bowl win (2009 Valero Alamo Bowl and 2010 Ticketcity Bowl) and 15th bowl victory overall.
The Red Raiders had to overcome 13 penalties, including four personal foul penalties, and two interceptions by senior quarterback Seth Doege, which stalled several potential game-tying drives in the fourth quarter. Tech also had a go-ahead touchdown reversed by replay then had a field goal blocked after a 15-yard personal foul penalty by tight end Jace Amaro.
Minnesota responded by driving 79 yards for a touchdown to lead 31-24 with 13:07 left in the game. Despite all the sloppiness and penalties, Thomsen and Texas Tech were still able to score 10 points in the final 70 seconds to stun the Golden Gophers. Defensive back D.J. Johnson’s interception with less than a minute to play helped set up Bustin’s game-winning field goal.
Kliff Kingsbury was named Tech’s head coach for next season and took over as soon as the bowl game ended. Despite only a one-year stint with TTU, Thomsen will reportedly leave for an offensive line coaching job Â at the University of California-Berkeley.
Thomsen was the head coach at ACU for seven seasons (2005-11) and was one of the most successful coaches in Division II during that time span. The Wildcats achieved 61 wins and made six straight trips to the NCAA D-II playoffs while Thomsen held the reins.