NAIA NEWS: Thompson promoted to Head Basketball Coach at OLLU

Marcus Thompson has been named Men’s Basketball Head Coach at Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU). Thompson returned to OLLU as an assistant coach in 2021 and has been chosen as the Saints’ fifth head coach since the program’s inaugural season in 2009. He will take over officially on April 1.

Thompson will take over from Chris Dial, who coached from 2018 through March. Later this month, Dial will start his head coaching position for the inaugural men’s basketball program at Texas A&M University—San Antonio.

Athletic Director Tom Norris said, “Coach Thompson has been a great assistant coach the past two seasons, and we are confident that he will continue to excel as the squad leader. He is an OLLU alumnus – both undergraduate and graduate programs – and played on very successful teams for four years. The players respect him and are eager to help him as he begins his tenure. He will bring passion, work ethic and energy to the team, and we look forward to his future with us.” 

Thompson started the assistant coach position in 2021 and helped guide the Saints to a Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Tournament Quarterfinals. The team repeated as quarterfinalists in 2022 and this past season. In addition, for the first time in program history, the men earned NAIA Scholar Team recognition in 2022-2023, and they are on the path to accomplishing this impressive feat as the 2023-2024 season ends. The team has also been one of OLLU’s most active in the community. They have partnered with the San Antonio Spurs Youth Programs, Haven for Hope and the San Antonio Food Bank.

Thompson was selected to the OLLU Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2022 as well as the Red River Athletic Conference Hall of Fame Class of 2022.

Before coming to OLLU, Thompson was the head coach at Coastal Bend College in Beeville, Texas. He became the head coach at the junior college in 2019, and before that, he was the assistant coach there for one season. While at Coastal Bend, Thompson was also part of the faculty teaching business computer information systems and was an academic adviser.

Before his time at Coastal Bend, Thompson was the head coach for the UC Hoops – Adidas Gauntlet Program and head coach at Great Hearts Monte Vista. Before that, he was an accountant at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.

Thompson said, “I am beyond honored and grateful to be the next Men’s Basketball Head Coach of this amazing university. I’m thankful to President Chavez (Abel Antonio Chávez, MBA, PhD) and Athletic Director Tom Norris for providing me with such an unbelievable opportunity and trusting me to carry the torch forward. I cannot speak highly enough about former Head Coach Chris Dial; selecting me to join his staff and providing me the chance to come back home to OLLU was a blessing. The accomplishments we’ve achieved have moved this program in the right direction both on and off the courts and have set a new, strong foundation that I hope to build upon. While winning will always be a high priority for this program, being back at OLLU, where I was a part of the great history of the program as a player, is priceless. To be able to give back and positively impact the lives of young men at an establishment that played such a pivotal role in my life is invaluable. 

“I look forward to the challenges of raising the bar, taking the program to new heights, and leading these young men to be the best version of themselves on and off the court. I love this university; this is a very exciting moment in my life.” 

At OLLU from 2010-2014, Thompson led the men’s basketball team to a 2011-2012 Red River Athletic Conference Regular Season Championship, runner-up at the postseason tournament, and a round-of-16 finish at the NAIA National Tournament. In 2010-2011, the team was postseason semifinalists; in 2012-2013, the Saints were postseason quarterfinalists; and in 2013-2014, the men finished as postseason semifinalists.

Thompson’s accolades included National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court recipient, All-Conference, Conference Defensive Player of the Year and three-time RRAC Scholar-Athlete. Thompson holds several records that still stand today: most games played (128), most assists (630), most steals (315), season-best assists average (7.1), season-most steals (131), and season-best steals average (4.1). Thompson also owns the record for the most steals in a game at OLLU and throughout the NAIA, with 15 in a game against Paul Quinn College in 2014.

Thompson received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting in May 2014 and his Master of Business Administration in Management in 2016 from OLLU.

He is a father to two boys, Marcus Jr. and Jace.

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