Iconic athletics staffer to be honored throughout the weekend
On Feb. 1, 2018, Thompson transitioned out of his role as senior associate director of athletics for development and into the position of special assistant to the director of athletics, working directly with Stansbury on strategic development initiatives and other program priorities.
Thompson arrived at Georgia Tech in 1968 as director of football recruiting, a position that he served in under Bud Carson (1968-71), Bill Fulcher (1972-73) and Pepper Rodgers (1974). In that capacity, he helped recruit the first African-American student-athletes to be awarded scholarships at Georgia Tech, led by legendary quarterback Eddie McAshan.
After two years as assistant to the head coach under Rodgers (1975), Thompson moved from the football office into administration under renowned athletics director Homer Rice. Thompson first as an assistant athletics director for five years, was promoted to associate athletics director for development in 1982 and promoted again to senior associate athletics director for development in 1998.
In his role with the Alexander-Tharpe Fund, Georgia Tech athletics' development arm, he spearheaded the fundraising efforts for the construction or major renovation of every athletics facility on Tech's campus. His efforts also provided scholarships for thousands of student-athletes to receive their education and degrees from Georgia Tech. The A-T Fund has raised more than $593 million since Thompson's promotion to associate A.D. in 1982.
Highlighting his many honors and awards, Thompson was named an honorary alumnus of Georgia Tech in 2004. He was also named National Fundraiser of the Year by the National Association of Athletic Development Directors (NAADD) in 2005 and received a lifetime achievement award from the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) in 2011.
In addition to his role as a recruiter and fundraiser, Thompson was also instrumental in establishing Georgia Tech's presence in the Atlanta media market. He created and served as executive producer of the syndicated television show for the Tech's head football coach, and later for both the head basketball coach and director of athletics. He also co-hosted the syndicated TV sports show, Sideline Sports, which aired on WXIA Channel 11 (NBC) in Atlanta for 19 years. These shows were recognized as among the most highly syndicated coaches' shows in America.
Thompson came to Georgia Tech in 1968 from the University of South Carolina. At South Carolina, he was the head swimming coach, physical education instructor, and part-time recruiter. He also worked in the athletic business and sports information offices.
Prior to his time at USC, Thompson served as head swimming coach and recruiter for all sports at Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia. Thompson also worked at that time as a reporter on the Virginia's Military School League for the Richmond Times Dispatch newspaper.
A native of Louisville, Ky., Thompson attended the University of Kentucky and served as an Infantry Officer in the U.S. Army Reserve. He has three children: Jay, Scott, and Tracy.