Lance Thompson arrived in Knoxville three years ago the owner of a championship pedigree. That mentality is building a foundation in the Tennessee defense and already paying dividends.
Thompson coached the UT linebackers during his first two seasons in Knoxville, guiding Nick Reveiz to a team-high 108 tackles last year. Reveiz also was a finalist for the Burlsworth Trophy, presented to a former walk-on having the biggest impact on his team.
But now Thompson is returning to the defensive line, one of the many positions he had handled throughout his successful coaching tenure.
Thompson, a Riverdale, Ga., native, helped mold national title-winners at Georgia Tech and LSU, and spent his two seasons before UT rejuvenating Alabama's fortunes toward the SEC elite as outside linebackers coach and recruiting specialist. All told, Thompson has been a member of two SEC championship coaching staffs, two ACC championship staffs and one Conference USA divisional winner.
Thompson, 47, owns two separate coaching stints alongside Nick Saban, having originally worked for Saban and alongside Derek Dooley at LSU for the 2002-03 seasons before rejoining Saban at Alabama in 2007. Thompson served LSU as the assistant head coach in charge of recruiting and tight ends during their national championship season in 2003.
After his LSU tenure, Thompson spent three years as defensive coordinator at Central Florida. He previously served as Alabama's defensive line coach in 1999-2000.
Prior to his first two-year stint at Alabama, Thompson was a part of the Georgia Tech staff for 11 years. During his stay with the Yellow Jackets, Thompson was defensive line coach in 1998; defensive ends coach in 1996 and 1997 and tight ends coach in 1995. Thompson served as Georgia Tech's recruiting coordinator from 1995-98 and then again in 2001. Prior to serving as an on-field coach for the Yellow Jackets, Thompson held the position of Director of Football Operations at Georgia Tech from 1992-94.
Thompson got his start in coaching in 1988, serving as a graduate assistant for two years at Georgia Tech, followed by two more years as a volunteer assistant in 1990 and 1991.
Thompson was a four-year letterman at The Citadel, where he earned his bachelor's degree in education and mathematics in 1987.
He is the father of three daughters: Allie, Christina and Lane.