Arizona State’s coaching staff is one of the top crews in the country. The Sun Devils added another key component with Eric Thompson on July 1.
“Anytime you can get a promotion at work, it’s exciting,” Thompson said. “It feels good that they are recognizing your hard work and you're an asset to the program.”
Thompson was added as a volunteer coach in August 2021 to help coach and spar with the heavyweights in Tempe. Since the NCAA Division 1 Council eliminated volunteer coaches, teams were allowed to add a handful of coaches as full-time assistants.
“With the new rule change, it has been on the docket,” Thompson said. “It was great to find out when ASU said they were offering it to me. We built a community for myself and my family and we enjoy it. It was a no-brainer to take on a bit more.”
Thompson’s responsibilities are fairly similar to the previous years at Arizona State. However, Thompson has a new responsibility added to his plate this upcoming season.
“I can do home visits and go to tournaments and evaluate wrestlers,” Thompson said.
Thompson is excited to meet the families of potential Sun Devil wrestlers and get some great home-cooked meals down the road.
“I was telling Cohlton, I wish I could have come to your home visit because I know your parents are cooking good food,” Thompson said. “It will be nice to meet the family because I don’t always meet the brother or sister or aunt and uncle.”
Although his role has changed, Thompson’s goals on the mat are the same.
“I just want to help carry on the tradition of Sun Devil Wrestling and keep this team in championship contention every year,” Thompson said.
In Thompson’s two seasons as a Sun Devil, he has developed Kordell Norfleet and Anthony Montalvo, worked with Cael Valencia and was in the corner for Schultz’s run to the NCAA final in 2022.
In the back of Thompson’s mind, he has thought about becoming a head coach one day. However, he does not see himself leaving the desert anytime soon.
“I don’t see any reason to change what I’m doing now,” Thompson said. “I enjoy where I'm at and for my wife and I, as long as we are having fun, there is no reason to leave.”
While Thompson stays at Arizona State, he has a final goal for each Sun Devil wrestler.
“I am trying to help these guys reach their goals and help them become well-rounded adults,” Thompson said.