OFFICIAL: Thompson named Head Basketball Coach at Winston-Salem State

The Winston-Salem State University Department of Athletics has announced the hiring of Hall of Famer, Corey Thompson as the head men’s basketball coach.

“I consider it a privilege to hire the first WSSU  Men’s Basketball Alum to lead our Rams Men’s Basketball team,” said Director of Athletics, Etienne Thomas.  “Corey Thompson brings a complete body of work with him from his lived experiences as a student-athlete, assistant coach, head coach, husband, father, educator, and Hall of Fame Champion and I look forward to his leadership and partnership as we continue to protect the legacy.” 

Thompson was named the tenth head coach in the men’s basketball program in the summer of 2024 and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge back to the C.E. Gaines Center.

“Returning home to WSSU fills me with great pride and honor,” said Thompson. “I am dedicated to upholding and protecting the legacy built by the incredible teams of the past and present. Having once walked the same paths as the young men I now have the privilege to lead, I am committed to motivating and supporting them just as I was supported over twenty-two years ago. I eagerly anticipate collaborating with the administration, students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community. Dreams do come true! Ramily, Let’s Go!”

Thompson who won two back-to-back CIAA championships with the Rams under legendary Rickey Duckett is a four-year letterman holder, had four straight NCAA appearances from 1998-2002, and won Most Improved Player in 1999. Thompson and his team were inducted into the C.E. “Big House” Gaines Hall of Fame in 2012.

Thompson spent the previous eight seasons as the Boys’ Varsity Basketball Coach at St. Paul High School. In four years, they won consecutive conference championships. They advanced to eight successive state play-offs and in his first season, St. Pauls’ advanced to the second round of the state playoffs defeating the reigning state champions.

From 2011-2016, Thompson was the Associate Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Fayetteville State University and also had stints at the University of North Carolina Pembroke as the Associate Head Men’s Basketball Coach from 2006-2011. While at UNC Pembroke he helped lead his big men to the seventh-best rebounding margin (+8.0) in the nation during the 2010-11 campaign. They also finished 36th in the nation in both field-goal percentage defense (40.9) and blocked shots per game (4.2).
He was a volunteer assistant coach at WSSU from 2004-2005.

Thompson kicked off his career as a graduate assistant coach at Slipper Rock from 2002-2004. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Winston-Salem State University in 2002 and his master’s in Parks and Recreation Management from Slippery Rock in 2004.

He originally is from Lumberton, North Carolina, and is married to former WSSU Women’s basketball player Kesi Nobles (1997-2001) and has three children, Tyson Thompson (16), Leah Thompson (13), and Chelsey Thompson (10).

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