Upper Iowa University Director of Athletics David Miller has announced that Micha Thompson has been selected as the new head coach of the Peacock women’s basketball program. Thompson will be the 13th head coach in the 41-year history of the Peacock women’s basketball program after having served as an assistant coach with the basketball program at Utah State University, a NCAA Division I member of the Mountain West Conference in Logan, Utah for the last four years.
“This is truly an exciting time for Upper Iowa women’s basketball as we welcome Micha and her family to our Peacock community,” said Miller. “Micha is a skilled coach who has the background, experience, energy and attitude to lead this program. Throughout the search process, I was continually impressed with her vision, plan, enthusiasm and desire for the position and am so pleased to have her lead this program into its next phase.”
Thompson joined the Utah State women’s basketball coaching staff prior to the 2012-13 season, when head coach Jerry Finkbeiner was hired. She had previously served as his assistant for four years while at Oral Roberts University, a NCAA Division I member of the Summit League in Tulsa, Oklahoma, under Finkbeiner.
“I am so blessed for this opportunity to become the head coach at Upper Iowa,” said Thompson. “I was impressed with the vision that Mr. Miller and the committee shared with me for the program and knew that it was a great fit for me and my family. Being an assistant at Oral Roberts University and Utah State University gave me two distinctly different experiences. At Oral Roberts, I was part of a program that was already successful and learned what it takes to keep that going, while at Utah State I was part of the ground stages of a building a program and learned the essentials of that process.”
During her time with the Aggies, she coached guard Jennifer Schlott to several accolades and records. Schlott finished the 2013-14 year third in the nation in scoring with 26.2 points per game. She was named Mountain West Player of the Year and became USU’s first ever AP All-American, earning honorable mention honors. She became the all-time leading scorer at Utah State, ending her career with 1,556 points. Schlott was invited to a WNBA traning camp with the Indiana Fever, before singing a professional contract to play for Tapiolan Honka in Finland. In the classroom, 10 players earned academic all-conference honors during Thompson’s time at USU.
According to Coach Finkbeiner, “Micha has gained tremendous experience in building a program the right way through her time at Utah State. I’m excited for her and looking forward to following her success with Upper Iowa in the years to come. She has worked with me for the last ten years including three at Oral Roberts and she was my first recruit when I came to the Aggies’ program four years ago. I have really exposed her to and worked her in all phases of the game and she has handled it all very well. I realized two years ago that Micha was ready to move over 18 inches and become a head coach; it was just a matter of time and fit until she moved on to run her own program. I am fully confident that her knowledge, experience, enthusiasm and coaching philosophy will relate very well to the young women at Upper Iowa.”
Thompson spent the previous six years serving on Finkbeiner’s staff at Oral Roberts University, four years as an assistant coach and two years as a Director of Basketball Operations. While at Oral Roberts, the Golden Eagles made two NCAA tournament appearances, three WNIT appearances, highlighted by two post-season wins and three consecutive 20-win seasons. She coached three-time Summit League Player of the Year and All-American, Kevi Luper, and Savannah Buck, Sixth Man of the Year, as well as four first-team All-Summit League players.
“After talking to the team this week, there’s a lot of excitement and energy with the players right now,” said Thompson. “We can’t wait to get on the floor and get started. We will continue to have an outstanding reputation in the classroom and community, and strive to match that reputation on the basketball floor. I can’t wait to bring an exciting and up-tempo game plan to Fayette. I believe that on the women’s side, we need to score more to give the fans an exciting experience which means more possessions and more threes.”
The Edmond, Okla., native was homeschooled, playing prep basketball for the Tulsa NOAH Jaguars and was a part of National Championship teams in 1999 and 2001. Thompson graduated from Pensacola Christian College in 2006 with a bachelor’s of science in physical education.
“I want to thank Mr. Miller for the opportunity and everyone at UIU for welcoming us to Fayette and the Peacocks,” said Thompson. “I also want to thank everyone at Utah State; Ryan and I met the most amazing friends in Logan and we will miss everyone and cherish our time with them.”
Thompson and her husband, Ryan, were married in September, 2012. They have one son, Quincy.Head Coach Thompson