700th victory for Loudon’s Bill Thompson

Jesse Smithey Knoxville News Sentinel

Loudon High School baseball coach Bill Thompson has always had the pleasure of being the program’s winningest coach.

He started the team in 1975 and still coaches it.

But he joined a select group of Tennessee high school baseball coaches last Saturday. With a 3-2 victory over Unicoi County, Thompson earned his 700th career win. That made him the seventh coach in state history to reach that milestone, according to the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association history book.

“I think other people were more worried about it than I am,” said Thompson. “A lot of our parents were excited about it Saturday. I just told them I wanted to win the next game — 701.”

Thompson did reflect somewhat on the accomplishment but gave credit elsewhere.

“I got to thinking about it, 700 is a lot of wins,” said Thompson. “I think it is a great honor. But I think it’s an honor for the Loudon baseball program. I’ve had a lot of great baseball players at Loudon. They’re the ones responsible for winning these games.”

Loudon has won 11 district championships and three region championships. It reached the state quarterfinals twice and the semifinals once. The Redskins haven’t played in a state tournament since 2005, and that still motivates Thompson.

Loudon (19-12) will be the fourth seed in the upcoming District 4-AA tournament.

“That’s still a big goal,” he said. “I still have a desire to coach. I still enjoy it a lot. I don’t feel a lot different than I did in 1975.”

Thompson said he had opportunities to coach elsewhere but wanted to see through what he started.

“I went to school at Loudon High School. That was home to me,” he said. “We’ve had such a lot of good people be part of the program, I didn’t have any desire to leave. I just enjoyed it there, and I still do.”