Sports

Thompson Named UH-Hilo’s Director of Soccer

August 1, 2013, 4:19 PM HST
* Updated August 1, 7:06 PM
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The University of Hawai`i at Hilo announced Thursday that Lance Thompson has accepted a position as the school’s first Director of Soccer.

Thompson’s hiring comes 35 days before the start of UH-Hilo’s women’s soccer season against Cal State San Bernardino. The men’s team faces Cal State San Bernardino the next day. Both games will be played in Kaneohe.

Thompson, ironically, joins the Vulcans after coaching the men’s soccer team at CSUSB. His team went 5-5-7 last season and 5-5-5 in California Collegiate Athletic Association play.

Prior to that, he spent three seasons at Cal Poly Pomona. His teams went 29-22-4.

“We are very pleased to have found such a quality coach and individual for our first full-time soccer position,” UH-Hilo Athletic Director Dexter Irvin said in a release. “His experience in the PacWest and success in NCAA Division II will help elevate the standing of women’s and men’s soccer at UH Hilo.”

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The university’s search to fill this position dates back to Feb. 1 when the school submitted paperwork to create the Director of Soccer opening. Previously, the school employed two part-time head coaches to lead each program.

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Irvin and the athletic department did not receive approval of the position until June 20. Ten days later, an official job posting was listed to advertise the position with a deadline of July 11.

This will be Thompson’s sixth head coaching destination. Including stints at Alliant International, Holy Names University, and Notre Dame de Namur, he has accumulated a record of 135-85-23 over 13 seasons.

Thompson, 41, served in a similar role at NDNU. He hired assistant coaches that were exclusive to the men’s and women’s teams, which he believes helped in each program’s success. He plans to do the same thing at UH Hilo and will work on building his staff when he arrives.

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An important reason for his decision to take this position is the amount of family that he has living in Hawai`i.

“It’s a chance to, for the most part, get back home as my in-laws live in Hawai`i and my wife has spent a lot of time there,” said Thompson, who notes that his wife also has family who lives on the Big Island. “It’s a great opportunity to be closer to family and to continue to do what I am passionate about doing and love doing and working with young athletes in the sport of soccer.”

Before learning that he would become UH-Hilo’s Director of Soccer, Thompson had already scheduled a trip to Oahu. He was scheduled to arrive on Aug. 7, and now that he’s got a coaching position with the Vulcans, he says “I just won’t go back.”

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