LEXINGTON, Va. - Virginia Military Institute head coach Duggar Baucom has announced that Ben Thompson has been hired as assistant basketball coach and will begin his duties immediately.
Thompson comes to VMI from UNC Pembroke where he has been part of the Braves coaching staff under Ben Miller for the past three seasons.
Thompson replaces Jason Allison, who accepted an assistant coaching position at Appalachian State in April after nine years on the VMI staff as an assistant coach and later associate coach-recruiting coordinator.
While at UNCP, Thompson was part of a staff that produced back-to-back winning seasons in 2011-12 and 2012-13 - the first time that feat had been accomplished in more than 20 years in program history. The Braves posted notable statistical achievement over that time include a fifth place finish nationally in rebounding margin in 2012-13 as well as averaging among the top 20 teams in scoring offense (81.2 points/game.) Thompson also played an active role in promoting and marketing the UNCP basketball program and was a driving force in the establishment of the team's first Midnight Madness in 2011-12 as the Braves led the Peach Belt Conference in attendance that season.
"We are really excited to have Ben join our basketball program," said Baucom. "He brings great enthusiasm, a tremendous work ethic, and a variety of experience from several different programs. Ben has been able to work under some really good head coaches, all of which raved about his job performance, but spoke even more highly of him as a person, his character, and his commitment to excellence. He will help our staff recruit and develop cadet-athletes who excel on the court, in the classroom and in the community. Ben is great addition, we are extremely happy he has joined our VMI basketball family."
Thompson also served as video coordinator and assistant to the head coach of his alma mater Virginia Tech in 2010-11. He served in assisting in-game and practice preparation, travel operations, and coordinated on-campus recruiting visits as well as being director of the Virginia Tech summer basketball camps. That season, the Hokies topped then No. 1 ranked Duke, 64-60, at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg.
Thompson also served the 2009-10 campaign as an assistant coach at Saint Leo (Fla.) College which competed in the Division II Sunshine State Conference. While at Saint Leo, Thompson coached All-SSC forward Jordan Paris as well as All-Freshman guard Dominick Robinson and was instrumental in the recruitment and signing of 2010-11 SSC Freshman of the Year Nate Johnson.
Thompson also brings Southern Conference experience to the VMI staff as he was the Director of Basketball Operation at UNC Greensboro during the 2008-09 season. He handled the Spartans team travel, film exchange, budgeting, video logging as well as directing the program's summer camps. He also assisted with UNCG in-game and practice preparation, scouting reports, player development, and academic advising.
A 2006 graduate of Virginia Tech where he earned a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies along with minors in residential property management and leadership, Thompson later earned a master's degree in education with a specialization in sports promotion from Virginia Tech in 2007. While he was an undergraduate at Tech, Thompson spent time as an assistant coach at Blacksburg High School.
Thompson began his collegiate coaching career at Virginia Tech where he served as a graduate assistant coach and co-video coordinator in both the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons.
Thompson lettered in seven sports at Saint Paul High School in Saint Paul, Virginia and was a three-year starter and two-year captain in basketball while playing for his father, Rick.
"I'm excited about returning to the Commonwealth and about the opportunity to coach at VMI," said Thompson. "Coach Baucom and his staff have done a great job with this program and I hope to contribute to its future success as we move into the SoCon. I look forward to getting to know the people on post and in the community. This is an exciting time to be part of Keydets Basketball."