Ryan Thompson has been elevated as the new head coach of the South Dakota School of Mines men’s soccer program announced recently by Hardrocker Athletics Director Joel Lueken.
Thompson was promoted to lead the team after serving a year as the Mines assistant coach.
“It is an honor to take over the role of head coach of the Hardrocker soccer program,” Thompson said. “We have a great group of guys that are willing to give it their all in the classroom and on the field. I am thankful for the confidence that the athletic staff and athletics director Joel Lueken have in me and allowing me to continue my coaching path. This will be a great opportunity to continue to build this soccer for all involved.”
Thompson takes over the head position from Andrew Conniff, who resigned earlier this year to take the head coaching job at Colorado Mesa in Grand Junction, Colo. Conniff had previously been the head coach of the Hardrockers for two years and served as the assistant coach two season prior to that.
“Coach Thompson has a vast knowledge of the game and strong familiarity with the team after serving previously as the assistant," Lueken said. "I look forward to seeing Ryan lead our scholar-athletes on the pitch.”
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Thompson came to Mines after coaching two season for Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Prior to his time with Iowa Western, Thompson coached one year at Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa, for the women’s soccer program.
Thompson attended Tacoma Community College (Wash.) in 2008, in his two seasons at TCC he was the starting goalkeeper and named to the NWAC All Star team in 2008 and 2009. After playing two seasons at TCC, he decided to try his hand in a professional league. In the fall of 2010, Thompson signed a contract to play with the Tacoma Stars in the Professional Arena Soccer League. At the conclusion of the season he decided to go back to school and finish his degree.
In 2011, Thompson accepted a scholarship to play at Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa. This came after a successful appeal to regain his amateur status. During this time he played the remainder of his collegiate eligibility, and helped Waldorf set the record for most wins in a season.
Thompson received bachelor’s degrees in both Business Management and Sports Management in 2015. Soon after he started an internship with the Waldorf College men’s soccer program, where he focused on recruiting. After his internship was complete, he accepted his first coaching job with the Waldorf College women’s program.
Thompson is a native of Tacoma, Washington. He played his youth soccer career with Washington Premier FC.