Thompson returns to King U for second stint as WBB Head Coach

King University Vice President for Athletics David Hicks has announced the hiring of Josh Thompson as the next head coach of the King University women’s basketball program.

“I’m thrilled that Josh is coming home to King,” said Vice President for Athletics David Hicks. “His original tenure as a Tornado was one of sustained success for our women’s basketball program, and I’m excited about what his return means for our student athletes.”

This will be the second stint at King for Thompson, who previously coached the Tornado from 2011-2021, a stretch where he took the Tornado to the Conference Carolinas championship game in three consecutive seasons.

“First, I’d like to thank God for his guidance and direction in my life. Without him, none of this would be possible,” Thompson said. “I’d like to thank President Whitaker, David Hicks, and the leadership of King University for giving me this opportunity to come back and lead the women’s basketball program.”

Thompson, who has 21 years of head coaching experience, was most recently the head women’s basketball coach at Montreat College for the last two seasons. In his first year with the Cavaliers, he led the team to 20 wins, their most wins in a season since 2011-12. He also led the Cavaliers to the semifinals of the Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament for the first time since 2015-16. This past season, Thompson led Montreat to a 16-13 record, qualifying for the AAC tournament for the second consecutive season.

Following his first season at King in 2011-12, the Tornado improved their win total by 14 in 2012-13, going 14-13 and qualifying for the Conference Carolinas Tournament for the first time. The following year, King hosted their first Conference Carolinas Tournament game, earning their first win to advance to the semifinals.

The program continued to improve as the Tornado reached the Conference Carolinas championship game three straight years from 2016-18. King posted their most wins in more than a decade when they went 25-7, including a 19-3 marking Conference Carolinas play to finish second in the 2016-17 regular season standings. That season King defeated perennial power Limestone College on the road in the championship game to earn the first NCAA Tournament berth in program history. Following that season Thompson was selected Conference Carolinas Coach of the Year.

During his career at King, Thompson amassed a record of 157-120, going 118-82 in Conference Carolinas games. He recorded two 20-win seasons, coming in 2014-15 and 2016-17, those were the first two 20-win seasons since 2007-08 and the 25 wins are the third most in school history, trailing only four seasons’ when King Hall of Fame coach Al Nida’s squads posted two straight years with 27 wins and followed that with consecutive 28-win seasons. Thompson’s 157 wins trails only Nida’s 182 victories on the King all-time list.

The Tornado finished in the top four in the Conference Carolinas standings in six of Thompson’s 10 seasons as King registered a record above .500 eight times. Under Thomson’s tutelage, 13 individuals garnered All-Conference Carolinas, including one defensive player of the year and one freshman of the year. King also earned five Conference Carolinas Messick Awards for sportsmanship.

Off the court, Thompson’s teams consistently maintained a team GPA above 3.2, twice garnering recognition from the WBCA on their Top 25 academic rankings. One student-athlete was selected Conference Carolinas Scholar-Athlete of the Year in addition to 41 student-athletes garnering academic All-Conference Carolinas.

“King University and Bristol is home for me and my family, and we are excited to jump back into those communities,” Thompson said. “I’m honored to lead the women’s basketball program again and I will work hard to bring it back to a championship level.

“Lastly and most importantly, I’d like to thank my wife Danielle and my three sons Kyle, Brayden and Caleb. They have stayed by my side and always supported me, and I am forever grateful for that.”

Thompson received his Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in youth ministry and psychology from Nyack College in 2000.

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