Arkansas State names interim coach for bowl game

Arkansas State says defensive coordinator John Thompson will

serve as interim coach for the Red Wolves as they prepare to play

No. 25 Kent State in the GoDaddy.com bowl next month.

Thompson takes over for Gus Malzahn, who’s leaving Arkansas

State for Auburn after one season. Malzahn led the Red Wolves to a

9-3 record and a Sun Belt Conference championship.

Athletic director Terry Mohajir says it’s best for Arkansas

State to have an interim coach for the bowl because Malzahn ”will

understandably be consumed with his commitments to Auburn.”

Thompson is in his first year as defensive coordinator and

linebackers coach at Arkansas State. He was previously an assistant

coach at Georgia State and coach at East Carolina.

Arkansas State’s defense ranked first in scoring defense in the

Sun Belt this year.