MSU will host annual youth camp at Hammons Field on June 9-10
MSU locks down borders with talented class that includes nine of the top 31 prep players in the Show-Me State
MSU will host a variety of camps at the Bill Rowe Training Facility this winter
MSU adds Joe Lincoln as volunteer assistant, promotes Derek Mattea to director of operations post
Under Thompson’s tutelege, MSU fashioned a 30-point improvement in team batting (.260 to .290) in his first season, while setting school records for walks (317), sacrifices (54) and team fielding percentage (.976). The Bears ranked among the nation’s top 20 clubs in walks (4th) and fielding (20th) en route to capturing the Missouri Valley Conference’s regular-season and postseason tournament titles and earning the program’s highest-ever national ranking (No. 6).
Three different position players signed professional contracts at the conclusion of the season, including MVC Defensive Player of the Year Joey Hawkins and all-MVC performer Dylan Becker, who signed with the St. Louis Cardinals, as well as first-team all-conference pick Tate Matheny, who agreed to terms with the Boston Red Sox after being selected in the fourth round of the MLB Draft. Furthermore, third baseman Jake Burger became just the third Bear rookie, along with Mark Bailey (1980) and Bob Blakley (1974), in the 52-year history of the program to be selected for an All-America team (other than an all-freshman squad).
Additionally, Thompson’s first full year with MSU produced one of the top recruiting classes in program history. Anchored by a home-grown crop of standouts that included nine players rated among the top 31 high school recruits in the state of Missouri by either Perfect Game USA or Prep Baseball Report, the Bears’ 2015 recruiting class was ranked 35th in the nation by Collegiate Baseball.
Thompson joined the Bears staff in July 2014 as MSU’s lead hitting instructor and recruiting coordinator. An assistant coach at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College for four years, Thompson filled the vacancy left by the retirement of Brent Thomas after 32 years of continuous service on the Bears’ staff. Thompson served as Hutchinson’s primary hitting coach from 2011 through the 2014 season, over which time he helped lead the Blue Dragons to a pair of KJCCC West regular-season titles and two of the top five win totals in program history. This past spring Hutchinson broke 17 team or individual school records during a 43-17 campaign that saw it rank among the NJCAA’s top 20 nationally in 14 offensive statistical categories. In 2014 alone, Thompson helped mentor outfielder Matt Jones, a 25th round selection of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2014 MLB Draft, Jayhawk West Most Valuable Player Jake Schleppenbach and national pitcher of the year Kyle Simonds, who became the first player in Hutchinson history to earn first-team All-America recognition.
Over his four-year stint as an assistant coach in Hutchinson, Thompson helped steer a program that averaged 35 wins per season while posting a .613 winning percentage and producing 23 All-Jayhawk West Division selections, eight of which went on to earn NJCAA All-Region VI honors. In 2012, the Blue Dragons logged a 40-17 ledger, including a Jayhawk West Division crown with a 23-9 conference mark. Led by second-team All-American Tanner Lubach, seven Blue Dragons earned all-conference honors that season, with four players signing to continue their careers at the Division I level.
Thompson spent three seasons at Nebraska as the Cornhuskers’ volunteer assistant prior to his arrival in Hutchinson. In that capacity, he instructed the Husker outfielders and assisted with the infield group, playing key roles in the development of 2008 All-Big 12 performers and MLB draftees Jake Opitz (12th round, Cubs) and Mitch Abeita (19th round, Yankees), who helped Nebraska log an impressive 41-16-1 campaign and earn the right to host an NCAA Regional in Lincoln.
Following the completion of his own collegiate playing career at Dallas Baptist, Thompson began his coaching career as a student assistant with the Patriots. A two-year letterwinner in the DBU outfield, Thompson helped the Patriots claim the 2004 NCCAA national championship after turning in a standout two-year career at Garden City (Kan.) Community College. He was a key figure on the Busters’ 2003 Jayhawk West Division championship team, earning NJCCAA Distinguished Academic All-America honors.
During the 2006 season, Thompson aided a Dallas Baptist coaching staff that included current Patriots head coach Dan Heefner, working with the DBU outfielders while assisting with hitting instruction and the implementation of the club’s strength and conditioning program. The Patriots recorded a .329 team batting mark en route to a 33-23 season and saw a school-record seven players taken in the MLB Draft. From there, Thompson moved into a graduate assistant role at Fort Hays (Kan.) State, where he served as the Tigers’ primary hitting and outfield coach during the 2007 campaign. A pair of Tigers earned ABCA All-Central Region recognition under Thompson’s tutelage as Fort Hays State finished with a 33-20 overall record.
Additionally, Thompson gained experience during the summer of 2007 as an assistant coach with the Mat-Su Miners of the Alaska Baseball League, where he was nominated for the league’s assistant of the year honor. Thompson also served as director of Nebraska’s summer baseball camps from 2008-10, overseeing program development and personnel while assisting with the instruction and skill development phases of the camps.
A native of Goodland, Kan., Thompson graduated cum laude with his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Dallas Baptist in 2006 and earned a master’s degree in sports administration at Fort Hays State in 2008. He married the former Anna Schardt in 2009, and the couple has a daughter, Nevaeh.