July 21, 2010 – READING, PA: The Reading Express is proud to announce that Assistant GM, and Offensive Coordinator, Chris Thompson has been named Head Coach for the 2011 Express season. Chris served as interim Head Coach for the last four games of the 2010 season.
Chris attended Bloomsburg University on a Football scholarship, where he continued to excel in his athletic success. As quarterback and captain of Bloomsburg Football Team, Chris led the team in 2001 to the PSAC championship and a berth in the NCAA Playoffs. Head Coach Danny Hale said, “Chris is a great leader and a true TEAM player.”
Chris began his journey into Professional football in 2002. He began to coach young quarterbacks throughout the state during SVS Sports Camps under Jim Cantafio and beside NFL player Chad Henne. He then became a full-time Assistant Coach for Lebanon Valley College where he coached quarterbacks and helped coordinate the offense. He aided in coaching Lebanon Valley to a four win season for the first time in ten years and assisted in the development of Lebanon Valley College’s football program. Head Coach Jim Monos said of Thompson, “He is a winner and he is dedicated and committed to everything he does. He will win Championships as a coach”. Coaching right out of college was more than an experience; it became the step into a higher level of football. Chris took his football talent and experience and played Professional Arena Football in the AF2, AIFA, CIFL, AIFL, and NIFL for 5 years including, AF2 Fayetteville North Carolina, Cape Fear Wildcats 2004, Johnstown River Hawks 2005, Reading Express 2006 inaugural season, and the Chesapeake Tide, Maryland 2007. Chris played under the tutelage of current AFL/AF2 coaches, Ollie Guidry and Chris Siegfried, and still holds a Reading Express Franchise record for longest touchdown pass at 49 yards.
Chris has been a standout with the Express from the moment he stepped on the field. As a player and then coach, he helped build an incredible 54-14 record in four years. He controlled the offensive unit that averaged more than 50 points a game, and coached a rookie quarterback who accounted for nearly 200 touchdowns, 7,000 yards passing, and was awarded AIFA Offensive Player of the Year in 2009. Chris coached players whom have made it a step further into the AFL and NFL. Many players under Chris’s coaching have achieved honors such as: league MVP’s and All-Pro Honors. His overall coaching abilities helped produce amazing talent. Chris helped to guide the Express to four Northern Division Championships in 2006 – 2009, an Eastern Conference Championship in 2009, and a League AIFA National Championship in 2009 - winning 65-42 in Casper, Wyoming. When Thompson was asked how he feels about this awesome new responsibility he said “I am extremely honored to have this opportunity and look forward to working with an amazing group of coaches and front office staff for the 2011 season”.
“We are very excited to promote Chris to this new position within the Express organization. I am confident that he will continue to help us reach our goals as a competitive team and to be a strong member of our community” commented Ted Lavender, Express owner.