Pirates Add Two Coaches To Their Offense
By: Oliver Nissi
November 16, 2020
WORCESTER, MA. — The Massachusetts Pirates have hired Chris Thompson as offensive coordinator for the 2021 season. Thompson’s most recent coaching position came this past Spring in the XFL. He was an assistant coach with the New York Guardians. He was also an assistant coach for the Atlanta Legends in the AAF in 2019. In both roles, Thompson worked primarily in football operations, as he was the football operations manager for the Guardians and the director of football operations with the Legends.
Thompson spoke with MassPiratesFootball.com about his new opportunity with the Pirates.
“I’m extremely excited and appreciative. The IFL has become the premier arena league in the country and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Pirates president and general manager Jawad Yatim says he has had his eye on Thompson for a while now.
“He has experience calling plays in the indoor and arena game. He’s been very successful as a head coach, earning NAL Head Coach of the Year honors in 2017 among other accolades. We’ve been in touch during past seasons and the circumstances seemed to fit this time around, so I’m glad we were able to come to terms and get things in motion for the upcoming season. Looking forward to working with coach Thompson and continuing our preparation for kickoff in 2021.”
Thompson has coached twelve years in arena football, two of which have come in the IFL (2011-12). He was the Reading Express’ offensive coordinator from 2007-10 and head coach in 2011. He then coached the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks for six seasons (2012- 2017). In his final season with Lehigh Valley, he was named the NAL Coach of the Year. Thompson was an assistant general manager for his entire run with both the Express and Steelhawks. In 2018, he was the offensive coordinator for the Albany Empire in the Arena Football League. He also served as the team’s director of football operations.
Thompson has garnered additional coaching experience at multiple levels. In 2019, Thompson worked as a coaching intern for the Chicago Bears in the NFL during their training camp. He was the head coach in college football’s annual FCS Bowl for six consecutive years (2013-18). In 2017, he was an assistant coach for Alvernia University in their inaugural season. The Manheim, Pennsylvania native began his coaching career with Lebanon Valley College in 2004 as a quarterbacks coach and offensive assistant.
The Pirates have also announced the team has re-signed offensive line coach Rob Orell. A native of Worcester, Massachusetts, Orell originally joined the team during the 2019 season under the same title. Orell is excited to work with a highly experienced coaching staff.
“I’ve heard a lot of good things about coach Thompson. As a young coach, you always like to learn from others with more experience. I’m looking forward to seeing the professional culture develop under coach Patrick Pass.”
Orell also works as the offensive line coach and run game coordinator at Nichols College. He has coached at Nichols since 2017 and also played four years of college football at the school (2013-16).
Yatim is happy to bring Orell back into the fold.
“Rob is hardworking and accountable. I’m glad to have him on board.”
Yatim’s coaching staff for 2021 now stands with head coach Patrick Pass, offensive coordinator Chris Thompson, offensive line coach Rob Orell, defensive line, linebackers and special teams coach Gerald Snay, and defensive coordinator and secondary coach Rayshaun Kizer.
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