June 27, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
Fred Thompson, one of the individuals responsible for Army's recent string of unprecedented success on the women's soccer pitch, has been named interim head coach of the Black Knights, announced Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan.
Army's associate head coach the past three years, Thompson takes over the reins as head coach from Stefanie Golan, who departs to become head women's soccer coach at the University of Minnesota.
"We are fortunate to have someone as seasoned as Fred Thompson available to lead our program at this time," Corrigan offered. "Fred has been pivotal to the success of our soccer program the past three years and we're thrilled that he's in position to lead our cadet-athletes.
"Fred brings a wealth of coaching experience and understands the mission of West Point to develop leaders of Character. We feel that our program will continue to flourish under Fred's direction."
Thompson played a large role in helping to lead Army to a share of the regular season Patriot League championship in 2010 and the conference's tournament title and accompanying NCAA berth this past fall. In all, he is a 13-year veteran of the collegiate coaching ranks.
"I am very excited and I want to thank USMA Superintendent Lt. Gen. David Huntoon and Boo Corrigan for this opportunity," said Thompson. "The program has done great things, developing great traditions while producing outstanding athletes and fantastic officers. I feel privileged to be part of this institution and to work with the cadets we have returning.
"We also have a very talented freshman class that will be arriving in less than a week. Obviously, we are hoping that this year will be another great chapter in the history of the program. I also want to thank Stephanie Golan for giving me the opportunity to come to West Point and be part of this program."
Thompson helped Army put together one of its most successful runs in program history this past season as the Black Knights captured the Patriot League Tournament title, winning both games in shutout fashion. Army put together a strong showing in its second ever NCAA Regional appearance, holding No. 13 and host Penn State scoreless for over 85 minutes before falling 1-0. The Black Knights closed out the season with a 12-4-5 overall mark that included 15 shutouts. The latter figure fell just one shy of school record established just a year earlier.
In addition to helping Army compile a total of 26 wins the past two years, the Black Knights also ranked among the nation's top defensive teams during that period. This past fall, Army listed second nationally in shutout percentage (.714), third in save percentage (.915) and seventh in goals-against average (.452). A conference-high six Army players were selected for Patriot League all-star honors at year's end.
Army experienced a great deal of success in Thompson's second season along the banks of the Hudson in 2010, posting 14 wins en route to earning a share of the Patriot League's regular season title. It marked the Black Knights' highest win total in 13 years. In all, the squad established Academy record for shutouts (16) and fewest goals allowed (six), while leading the nation in goals-against average, shutout percentage and save percentage.
Prior to his arrival at West Point, Thompson served the previous five years as head men's soccer coach at Bowling Green University. He also spent two years as an assistant coach for the men's soccer program at the University of Evansville (2002-03). His first head coaching assignment was at Bellevue (Wash.) Community College, where he led the men's soccer program through a highly successful two-year period. He was honored as Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges Coach of the Year during that stretch.
A four-year starter during his undergraduate days at George Mason University, Thompson was a two-time All-South Atlantic Region honoree. He garnered All-ECAC South honors his junior year and was named to the All-Colonial Athletic Association squad that year as well. He was also a three-time All-Capital Collegiate Conference and All-Virginia Intercollegiate League selection.
Thompson was part of three George Mason teams that ranked in the Top 20 nationally during his playing career and earned a bachelor's of science degree in finance in1987. He was recently named to the All-Time Colonial Athletic Association Team at the conference's 25th anniversary celebration.
Following graduation, the native of Jamaica played professionally for eight years as a standout defender with the Baltimore Blast and Tacoma Stars of the Major Indoor Soccer League, and the Sacramento Knights Continental Indoor Soccer League. He was also the starting sweeper for the Jamaican National Team from 1988 to 1990, and was part of history after helping his squad advance beyond the opening round of the World Cup qualification for the first time.
Thompson and his wife, Jill, will reside at West Point.