Fullerton, CA - Hope International University is pleased to announce the hiring of Eric Thorson as its new men's and women's golf coach.  Thorson has been asked to build a team from scratch that will begin competing in Fall 2014.

Hope International Athletic Director John Turek commented, "In our continuing effort to grow our athletic program, we are proud and excited to announce the inaugural season of Men's and Women's Golf. Eric Thorson has been selected to get our new program up and running. Eric has great passion for both the game of golf and coaching. He brings a wealth of experience in coaching and recruiting at this level. We look forward to watching this program grow and compete under Coach Thorson's leadership and are very confident Coach Thorson will have the Royals competing at a very high level in a very short time."

Coach Thorson stated, "I am excited to become the inaugural Director of Golf and Head Coach at Hope International University.  I look forward to the challenge of building a foundation for a successful program for years to come."

Coach Thorson is no stranger to the Southern California athletic scene as he is just three years removed from serving as the Head Women's Basketball Coach at La Sierra University in Riverside.  In his two year tenure, he turned a 0-24 team the year before him into a 12-17 team in his final year (at the time the 12 wins represented a program record).

While proud of the accomplishments on the court with the La Sierra women, he is most proud of the academic success of the team.  His last season saw the team earn NAIA Scholar Team honors with a team cumulative GPA of 3.66.  Four of the women he recruited are set to graduate in May from La Sierra.  His proudest moment is "an athlete reaching academic achievements."

Several years prior to coaching at La Sierra, he spent seven years coaching both boys and girls high school basketball teams.  As the boy's coach at Orangewood Academy (1994-96) and the girl's coach at St. Anthony's High School (1997-2001) his teams qualified for seven straight playoff appearances.   His high school teams posted a combined record of 121-37.  His crowning achievement was winning the CIF Championship and being named the CIF-SS Coach of the Year in 2000 at St. Anthony's.

The one factor that remains to this day through all his coaching is that Coach Thorson's "day job" is a Firefighter/Paramedic for the Garden Grove Fire Department.  After becoming a California State Licensed Paramedic in December 1988, Thorson began working for the GGFD in 1989.

In all of his free time, he is a scratch golfer carrying a .3 index.  A few of his golf accomplishments include three top ten finishes in the Pasadena City Championships and a four time North Net Fire Golf Association Club Champion.

To top off all his working, coaching, and golf playing, he decided to start working on a Bachelor of Arts in Sports Management from Southern New Hampshire University.  He plans to finish the degree in June 2016.

Coach Thorson lives in Los Angeles but attends church at Mariners in Irvine.