Ryan Lindley, the quarterback behind San Diego State’s football program resurgence, and his one-time Aztecs teammate, Jordan Thomas, are joining coach Rocky Long’s staff as defensive graduate coaches.
Lindley will help coach the secondary, while Thomas will assist with the linebackers. Lindley quarterbacked the Aztecs from 2008-11 and went onto play in the NFL, while Thomas played with SDSU from 2010-13. Both played in the in 2010 Poinsettia Bowl, SDSU’s first bowl appearance since 1998, and the Aztecs have not missed a bowl appearance since.
Lindley set SDSU’s passing records in yards (12,690), touchdowns (90), completions (961), attempts (1,732) and victories (23), in his four-year career.
“It’s really fun to be around here and then obviously you know you stay close to the program,” Lindley told the Mighty 1090. “You’re a supporter when you leave. You’re an Aztec for life but now being behind the curtain so to speak.”
Since graduating SDSU in 2011, Lindley has helped coach numerous players leading up to the NFL Draft, including quarterbacks Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, Mitch Trubisky, CJ Beathard and Luke Falk.
He’s hoping to bring that coaching success to the secondary at the Mesa. Lindley told the Mighty 1090 he has the insider knowledge of what a quarterback looks for and translate that to the secondary. Most importantly, however, he said his role as a coach is to instill hard work on the student athletes under his wing.
“It’s all about the hard work, getting the most out of your player and even just getting the most out of your time here, whether that’s on the field, on the classroom or in the community,” he said.
Meanwhile, Thomas started 34 times at defensive end and played in all 52 games in his three-year career at San Diego State. He is one of three Aztecs in the program history to play in four consecutive bowl games without redshirting a season. The other two are Bryce Quigly and Rene Siluano.
Over this career, Thomas totaled 61 tackles (38 solos), 14 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. In 2013, Thomas was named the team’s defensive lineman of the year.
After leaving the Mesa, Thomas spent the 2016 season coaching the tight ends and defensive line at Mission Hills High School, before working with the linebackers at Division II Texas A&M – Kingsville as a graduate assistant in 2017.
The Aztecs will kick off their season at Stanford at 6 p.m. Aug. 31 and their home game will be against Sacramento State at 6 p.m. Sept. 8.
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