Mount Pleasant native enters New Philadelphia HOF

NEW PHILADELPHIA – Jim Thompson was a three-sport star at Mount Pleasant High School. That prep success proved a foundation for a Hall of Fame career.

After picking up his college diploma at West Liberty in 1968, Thompson embarked on an impressive coaching career, most of which played out at New Philadelphia High School.

His contributions were so impressive that he was inducted into the New Philadelphia Hall of Fame posthumously last month.

Thompson launched his career with the Quakers in 1973 and held several positions before retiring in 2000.

From 1976 to 1983, Thompson guided the New Philadelphia boys’ basketball team with much success. His teams compiled 100 wins while capturing four Class AAA sectional championships.

Along the way, he collected several coaching awards. He was named the District 5 Coach-of-the-Year in 1976-77 while earning Eastern District Division I Coach-of-the-Year honors in 1976-77 and 1978-79.

Moreover, Thompson was named the Cardinal Conference Coach-of-the-Year in 1980-81. A year later, he received the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame Award.

After yielding the boys’ post in 1983, he took some time off from coaching before opting to return and direct the Quakers’ junior high teams for two seasons (1987-89). His two eighth grade squads both went undefeated.

Looking for another hoop challenge, Thompson took the school’s head girls’ high school hoop position for two seasons (1991-93. Those two squads amassed 35 wins, earning him Eastern District Division I Coach-of-the-Year honors.

Thompson also served as New Philadelphia High’s athletic director for five years. He is a member of the East District Athletic Hall of Fame. He was also the president of the District 5 Basketball Coaches Association from 1979-1983.

Thompson launched his teaching/coaching at Highland High School (Medina) before taking the head boys’ basketball post at Conotton Valley in 1970. After section wins with the Rockets in the 1970-71 and 1972-73 seasons, he took root at New Philadelphia.

During his three-decade-plus tenure at New Philadelphia, Thompson also served as assistant coach in golf and football.

Jim’s younger brother, Mark, is an OVAC Hall of Famer after a stellar basketball career at Mount Pleasant.