FOREST GROVE – After two years trying his hand at professional football, former Oregon State standout Tavita Thompson is joining the Pacific University football staff as defensive line coach.
Thompson replaces Will Kofe on the staff, who left after the 2010 season to pursue other opportunities.
"We are excited to add Tavita to the coaching staff as we continue to build Pacific football," said Head Football Coach Keith Buckley. "He is a bright young coach whose energy and passion for the game of football has had an immediate impact on our defense as a whole. I look forward to the positive impact he will have on the young men he will mentor."
Thompson spent the last two seasons playing professionally. He spent the 2010 season as an offensive lineman with the Sacramento Mountain Cats of the United Football League. In 2009, Thompson was signed to a free agent contract with the New York Jets and appeared in two preseason games.
Thompson was a four-year letterwinner at Oregon State, where he developed a reputation as a hard-nosed offensive tackle. He started seven games during both his junior and senior seasons and saw considerable action as a backup as a sophomore.
A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, Thompson played his prep football at St. Louis High School, where he was a first team all-state selection on offense and defense as a senior. When signed by Oregon State, Thompson was rated among the nation's top-50 linemen by Rivals.com.
Buckley believes that Thompson's knowledge of the game and his experience at both the Division I and professional levels will pay big dividends for the second year of the Boxers' upstart program. "Our players are excited to work with a coach that will technically and mentally improve their individual games and the group in general," Buckley said. "Tavita's experience as an offensive lineman at the highest level of football greatly benefits our young defensive line in further understanding the schemes and techniques used against us in our defense."
Thompson, 25, graduated from Oregon State in 2008 with a degree in human services and family development. He and his wife, Lindsay, are the proud parents of son Brycen, 2, and newborn daughter Tausani.