Bill Thompson steps down after 39 years

Jonathan Herrmann-News-Herald
Longtime Loudon High School baseball coach Bill Thompson announced Thursday he was stepping down from the position.

Thompson met with Athletic Director Ronnie Roberts Wednesday to inform the school he would be resigning.

"When I walked in, coach Thompson looked at me and he said, 'It's time'," Roberts said. "The three things that coach Thompson told me yesterday, repeatedly as we sat and talked was, No. 1, his love for Loudon High School and the people he had worked for over the years, No. 2 was his love for the Loudon baseball program and the third thing, and the thing that kept coming up over and over, was the love of his players for the last 39 years."

Thompson won 743 games, which puts him as the fifth winningest coach in Tennessee history, and he was inducted in the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2009. But Thursday he said that is not what has been important in his career.

"Yes, I have accomplishments, and I'm happy and proud of those accomplishments, but I had a lot of good players," Thompson said. "I never pitched a winning game, a player did. I never got the game-winning hit, a player did. I never built this field out here, parents did. I never gave me support while I was here, administrators did.

The school does not currently have a replacement for Thompson. Everett returned to Loudon to serve as an assistant coach this season and is expected to continue filling that role.

"We are in the process of replacing coach Thompson," Roberts said. "When it comes time for that we'll make that announcement."

Thompson will not soon be forgotten in Loudon. The schools baseball field, Bill Thompson Field, is named for the coach.

"I could not be prouder of the man that has been your coach," Parrish said.

Full coverage of Thompson's announcement will be available in the weekend News-Herald.