Thompson named Head Basketball Coach at Emory & Henry

Ben Thompson was formally introduced as head men’s basketball coach at Emory & Henry College by Director of Athletics Anne Crutchfield at a press conference on Bob Johnson Court inside the King Center Monday afternoon.

“Growing up in Southwest Virginia, Ben Thompson has a long history with Emory & Henry College and understands the storied history of the men’s basketball program,” said Anne Crutchfield, Director of Athletics. “He is an inspiring leader, a teacher and an exceptional communicator who has displayed a strong commitment to developing the entire student-athlete on the court and off the court.”

Thompson spent the past three seasons as the head men’s basketball coach at SUNY Canton. He guided the Roos to a 20-win season in his first season en route to leading the team to its first Eastern College Athletic Conference playoff win in school history and the inaugural American Collegiate Athletic Association Conference Championship.

Before SUNY Canton, Thompson helped guide NCAA Division II Lincoln Memorial University to the national championship game during the 2015-16 season. Thompson has previous coaching experience at Virginia Tech, Virginia Military Institute, and UNC Greensboro as well as Division II UNC Pembroke and Saint Leo University.

“I am excited, humbled, and honored to return home to Southwest Virginia as the head men’s basketball coach at Emory & Henry College,” said Thompson. “I have long admired Emory & Henry for its place as one of the top colleges in the nation and its standing as an academic beacon in our region for over 180 years. I can remember growing up on this campus attending the Summer Scholars Program and Coach Bob Johnson’s basketball camps. The tradition with this program and with the Old Dominion Athletic Conference is nationally known, and I feel blessed to be back here and to be coaching in this prestigious conference.”

In the summer of 2018, Thompson led the USA D-III men’s basketball national team on a tour of Brazil. The team finished the trip a perfect 5-0 with wins over Brazilian teams Jundiai, Santa Andre, LSB All-Star (G-League), Fluminese and Botafogo.

This past season, SUNY Canton finished as the Division III leader in blocks per game at 6.4. Across all NCAA divisions, this total was second only to Duke University.

Thompson graduated from St. Paul High School where he played for his father Rick who won the 1991 VHSL State Championship. He is a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). He is a 2006 graduate of Virginia Tech.

“I would like to thank Anne Crutchfield for her faith in me and guidance throughout this process,” added Thompson. “I look forward to meeting with all of the current student-athletes, as well as the incredible network of alumni, fans, and the campus community.”

Thompson is engaged to Tiffany Brown of Wilmington, North Carolina. The two will be married this summer.

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  • Crassus the Mean Wolverine

    I remember Rick Thompson. Won a state championship with Lebanon High School and got fired shortly afterwards. A really strange situation. There was no scandal or anything like that involving Thompson. The administration at Lebanon and Russell County just wanted to make a change even if it meant removing a coach who had just won a state championship.