Stony Brook University Football Team runs out onto the field at the start of the Homecoming game on Oct. 5, 2019. Special teams coach Tony Thompson will be leaving Stony Brook to join the West Virginia Mountaineers as a special teams analyst. SAMANTHA ROBINSON/STATESMAN FILE

On Friday, June 18, the West Virginia Mountaineers announced that Stony Brook special teams coach Tony Thompson would be joining the Mountaineers as a special teams analyst. Thompson, who is one of the longest-tenured members of the Stony Brook football team’s staff, first coached for the Seawolves during the 1997 season.

Under Thompson, punter Nick Ferrara was named first-team All-CAA in 2013, having set the Stony Brook career and single-season record for average punt distance. Long snapper Billy Barber gained third-team All-CAA honors in 2019. In 2017, the Seawolves were the fifth-best FCS team nationwide in kickoff return defense.

As a linebacker during his collegiate career, Thompson played for Stony Brook from 1995 to 1997 after transferring from Western Connecticut. He began coaching as a Stony Brook graduate assistant for outside linebackers in 1997, where he would stay as a full-time staff member until 2000 when he moved to defensive line coach.

Thompson then left to serve as the outside linebackers coach, special teams coach and video assistant for two seasons at Penn. From 2003 to 2005, he was the defensive coordinator for Franklin & Marshall, a Division III school, before returning to the Division I ranks as the Hofstra linebackers coach in 2006.

The Stony Brook alumnus returned to his roots in 2007. Thompson spent the last 14 years with the Seawolves in multiple roles — outside linebackers coach from 2007-08 and 2011-12, defensive line coach from 2009 to 2010 and special teams coach from 2013 to 2020. Additionally, Thompson coached the rover position during the 2020 season.

“Tony has been with me for a very long time,” head coach Chuck Priore said on Twitter. “I appreciate his loyalty and his friendship along the way. West Virginia added a great person and coach to their football family.”

West Virginia, a Power Five school in the Big 12 Conference, finished 6-4 in the 2020 season, earning a bid to the Liberty Bowl where the Mountaineers beat Army 24-21.


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