Head Coach Chris Thompson – Lehig Valley Steelhawks/ Philadelphia Soul (PIFL/AFL)
Coach Chris Thompson and his staff will head coach the “Blue Nation” team in the 3rd Annual National Bowl Game. He will be joined by Defensive Coordinator Kevin O’Hanlon and Assistant Coach John Zima along with other Steelhawks coaches.
Thompson enters his 2nd year with the Steelhawks organization after guiding the Steelhawks to a 4th place finish in the United Conference standings, along with their first ever playoff game. However, the Steelhawks lost to the eventual IFL United Bowl Champions, the Sioux Falls Storm in the first round. Prior to Thompson coming to the Steelhawks, he worked for the Philadelphia Soul (AFL) as the Manager of Football Programs & Experiences. Thompson also spent 6 years with the Reading Express Organization as a former Quarterback, Head Coach and Assistant General Manager. In his 6 seasons there he helped the Express to achieve an amazing 73-27 record. He had responsibilities that ranged from selling sponsorships/partnerships, group tickets, marketing concepts, merchandise, game day operations, and recruiting players.
While with the Express Organization, he helped guide them to five Northern Division Championships in 2006 – 2009 & 2011, two Eastern Conference Championships, and the 2009 AIFA Bowl Championship by beating the Wyoming Calvary 65-42 in Casper, Wyoming. Thompson has coached several players over the years who have made it to the next level, signing contracts in leagues such as the AFL, CFL, and NFL from the likes of QB-Bryan Randall, DL-Brian Brikowski, and WR-Collin Taylor to name a few. This will be his 12th season involved with professional Indoor Arena Football as a former player, coach, and front office personnel.
Thompson also had a successful playing career both collegiately and professionally where he played Indoor Arena football for six years in multiple leagues. He attended Bloomsburg University (D2) on a football scholarship after graduating from Manheim Central High School in 1997. As a former record setting Quarterback and captain of the Bloomsburg University football team, he led the team to back-to-back PSAC Championships and Lambert Cup Championships in 2000 and 2001along with a berth in the NCAA Division II Playoffs both years.