Her first NCAA Convention as the Spartans' AD includes educating future leaders in college athletics.
New head coach Brent Brennan adds more energy and local ties to coaching staff.
Ben Thienes was named San Jose State University’s Director of Football Operations in January 2017. In his nine-year professional career, he was a part of seven teams to win a conference championship and/or participate in a post-season bowl game.
Thienes comes to the Spartans after serving as the linebackers coach and director of player personnel at Portland State University for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. The 2015 Vikings made their first appearance in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs in 15 years.
He began his college athletics career in 2007 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school in Parkland, Fla., as an assistant football coach. He was the team’s defensive coordinator, special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach.
Thienes spent the 2008 through 2010 seasons at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls, Iowa as an assistant football coach and strength and conditioning coordinator. Ellsworth won the 2008 and 2009 NJCAA Region XI Championships and Graphic Edge Bowls.
During the 2011 through 2013 seasons, he was a graduate assistant for the Boise State football program. He worked with the defensive backs and had various special teams responsibilities. The Broncos were the 2012 Mountain West champions, won bowl games in two of his three seasons and compiled an overall 31-8 win-loss record.
Thienes was at the University of Washington as a graduate assistant in 2014. He worked with the linebackers and special teams players. The Huskies finished their season playing in the Cactus Bowl.
The 2008 Boise State University graduate majored in psychology. He earned a master’s degree in kinesiology & behavioral studies from Boise State in 2013.
Ben and his wife, Tobruk, were married in July 2017.