Ryan Thompson’s remarkable journey through the world of soccer and coaching has been nothing short of inspiring.
Thompson, named head soccer coach at Eastern in July, started his career at Tacoma Community College (TCC) in Washington in 2008.
As a starting goalkeeper, he showcased his exceptional skills on the field which earned him a spot on the NWAC All-Star team in both 2008 and 2009, leaving a lasting mark on TCC’s soccer legacy.
Following his successful stint at TCC, he decided to pursue a professional career and signed a contract to play for the Tacoma Stars in the Professional Arena Soccer League. While his time in the professional league was successful, Thompson’s passion for education led him back to school to complete his degree.
In 2011, Thompson embraced a new challenge by accepting a scholarship to play at Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa. Overcoming hurdles to regain his amateur status, he displayed resilience and determination on and off the field contributing to a record-setting number of victories in a single season.
Thompson’s dedication to his education was evident as he earned bachelor’s degrees in both business management and sports management in 2015.
He demonstrated a strong interest in the coaching aspect of the game, which led him to become student assistant with the Waldorf College men’s soccer program. During this time, he focused on talent recruitment, showcasing his aptitude for identifying and nurturing young talent.
After his internship, Thompson accepted a graduate assistant position with Waldorf College, but this time with the women’s soccer program. His coaching style, characterized by a mix of technical expertise and a personal touch, impacted the team and produced results. He then went on to assist the men’s program at Iowa Western Community College for two years and most recently leaves his head coaching position at South Dakota School of Mines where he was on staff since 2019.
Now, Thompson embarks on a new chapter in his coaching career, joining the Utah State Eastern men’s soccer team as its head coach. He brings a fresh perspective and expertise to the table.
“We are eager to see Thompson’s coaching in action,” stated directed of athletics, Jess Brinkerhoff. “The upcoming season holds tremendous promise under his guidance. Thompson’s journey of dedication, perseverance, and success is truly inspiring, and his addition to the team marks an exciting new era for our men’s soccer program.”
Beyond the soccer field, he cherishes his relationship with his wife Sharon, and together, they share a heartwarming story of love and sacrifice, as Sharon saved his life after being his kidney transplant donor in March 2023. Coach Thompson and his wife have two rescued Labrador Retrievers named Carl and Cooper who are very much a part of their family.
“I am extremely honored to be the new head men’s soccer coach at Utah State University Eastern,” Thompson said. “Getting back to the junior college game has been a goal of mine since I left it. I am excited to get on campus and meet all of the players and other sports coaches and I am especially looking forward to getting the season started and seeing how far we can take this team. I’d like to thank Jess Brinkerhoff and the hiring committee for entrusting me with this role, and my wife Sharon for letting me follow my career aspirations.”
The men’s soccer season kicks off on the road, August 17 against Northwest College. The Eagle’s entire schedule can be found here.