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FootballScoop is proud to announce that Ben Thienes (San Jose State) is the 2021 FootballScoop Football Operations Director of the Year presented by AstroTurf as selected by prior winners.

2020 and 2021 presented uniquely challenging years for folks in operations and logistics around the world; and perhaps to a greater degree on the state of California. Thienes received praise from operations staffs across the country for his ability to navigate the consistently changing landscape deftly and with a smile on his face throughout. 

San Jose State head coach Brent Brennan shared, “There is no one in the country I believe is more deserving than Ben. He represents our team and this profession at large so well. He’s consistently thinking ahead and thinking through challenges and coming up with solutions. We owe a huge amount of our success to Ben and his staff. We’re very, very fortunate to have him and I couldn’t do it without him.” 

In addition to running the day-to-day for Spartan football, he's also in charge of planning and programming for the Spartan Athletics Center in CEFCU Stadium, scheduled to open next year. 

A Boise State graduate, Thienes entered football through coaching. He was an assistant at Parkland Douglas (Fla.) High School in 2007, an assistant coach and strength coach at Ellsworth (Iowa) Community College from 2008-10, and a defensive backs and special teams GA at his alma mater from 2011-13. His duties transferred to Washington when Chris Petersen moved from Boise to Seattle, and in 2015 Thienes became the linebackers coach and player personnel director at Portland State. 

He joined San Jose State's program as director of football operations and was promoted to assistant AD for football operations in 2020. 


The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by AstroTurf are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. The prior winners selected this year's winner.

Previous winners of the Football Operations Director of the Year award are Tom Deahn (Temple, 2009), Mike Kerin (West Virginia, 2010), Mike Sinquefield (TCU, 2011), Matt Doyle (Stanford, 2012), Jason Grooms (Ohio, 2013), Mack Butler (Oklahoma State, 2014), Mark Robinson (Florida State, 2015), Tim Knox (Illinois, 2016), Tyler Cook (UAB, 2017), Shane Elder (North Texas, 2018), Randy Ross (Arkansas, 2019), Michael Hazel (Penn State, 2020) and Will Gilkison (Rutgers, 2020).