Vir­ginia hires Thomp­son as women's bas­ket­ball coach

The Day - - SPORTS -

Vir­ginia hired for­mer WNBA star Tina Thomp­son on Mon­day to coach its women's bas­ket­ball team. The 43-year-old Thomp­son has never been a head coach be­fore, but she brings quite a re­sume to Vir­ginia. She was the WNBA's ca­reer scor­ing leader un­til she was passed by Diana Taurasi last sum­mer. Thomp­son also is a two-time Olympic gold medal­ist and a four-time WNBA cham­pion. She was elected to the Nai­smith Memo­rial Bas­ket­ball Hall of Fame this year and will be in­ducted in Septem­ber.

Af­ter col­lege at South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, Thomp­son played pro­fes­sion­ally for 12 sea­sons in Hous­ton, four years in Los An­ge­les and fin­ished her ca­reer in Seat­tle in 2013. Thomp­son re­places Joanne Boyle, who re­signed af­ter seven sea­son to at­tend to a fam­ily mat­ter.

At Texas, Thomp­son was pro­moted to as­so­ciate head coach on Karen As­ton's staff last Septem­ber. She fo­cused on the de­vel­op­ment of the Longhorns' post play­ers. Thomp­son is the fifth head coach in the 44-year his­tory of Vir­ginia's pro­gram.

"I am grate­ful for the op­por­tu­nity to lead a pro­gram with such a rich his­tory," she said in a re­lease from the school.

Vir­ginia reached 20 con­sec­u­tive NCAA Tour­na­ments from 1984-2003, and made it back for the first time in nine sea­sons this year.

"This pro­gram is in an ex­cit­ing place with a hard­work­ing group of young ladies," Thomp­son said. "It is my in­ten­tion to con­tinue the win­ning ways coach Joanne Boyle has built with this im­pres­sion­able group."

Ath­letic di­rec­tor Carla Williams said Thomp­son's re­sume speaks for it­self.

"She is one of the best to ever play the game and she has ex­pe­ri­enced tremen­dous suc­cess at all lev­els of the game. I am look­ing for­ward to work­ing with her," Williams said.

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