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Mr. J.T. Thompson ’19 to continue family legacy as assistant athletic director


By Finn Rezendes—

Some may have heard of the phrase “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” For Mr. J.T. Thompson IV ‘19, the school’s newest assistant athletic director, this could not be more true when it comes to the position he just received here at his alma mater Gonzaga College High School. 

“Mr. Thompson is going to be a great addition to the athletic department. He will continue to coach, and also take on some new roles and tasks,” said Mr. Terry Kernan ‘08, athletic director.

Mr. Thompson  just received the assistant athletic director position, beginning officially after the end of this academic year when he finishes up his year with the Alumni Service Corps. He is elated to be chosen for this position; further, he is excited to work under Mr. Kernan who was once his junior varsity basketball coach and is now the head athletic director. He will now work under a mentor he looked up to during his time here at Gonzaga. 

“Being able to work in an actual job position under Mr. Kernan will be a lot of fun, and I envision myself continuously learning,” said Mr. Thompson.

After graduating in 2023 from Fairfield University with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Mr. Thompson returned to Eye Street to serve as a member of the Alumni Service Corp (ASC) in August 2023. This past year, as a member of ASC, Mr. Thompson has assisted in leading retreats and coaching rugby, and he has given his time and energy in many behind-the-scenes roles on campus helping teachers and faculty.

From a young age, Mr. Thompson watched his father and grandfather shape athletes off the court and on. He admired from a distance how success is created and the process it takes for an individual and a team to achieve their goals. 

“It’s awesome that he comes from a lineage of adored and revered coaches and athletic administrators, but I have no doubt that Mr. Thompson is on his way to building an equally impressive legacy,” said Ms. Caitlin Farley, director of student activities.

When the student body learned Mr. Kernan was searching for two new personnel to assist him in his office, many knew Mr. Thompson was the man for the job. Mr. Thompson also felt he was right for the job because of his long history of being so close to sports and specifically collegiate Jesuit athletics with both his father and grandfather spending the majority of their professional careers in this field at Georgetown. 

“I was not necessarily in the conversations but listening to their conversations with other coaches, players, athletic directors and stuff like that. Kind of watching it happen,” Mr. Thompsons said.

Current Dean of Students Mr. Robert Churchwell III played for Mr. Thompson’s grandfather during his grandfather’s 27-year career at Georgetown. Mr. Churchwell played from 1990 to 1994 at Georgetown and then went on to be drafted by the Golden State Warriors. 

Now, on some mornings Mr. Churchwell and Mr. Thompson can sometimes be seen in student services handing out late slips to stragglers each morning. Mr. Churchwell is appreciative of the hard work and dedication Mr. Thompson has shown to Gonzaga every day, whether that is monitoring a European history class, assisting with the distribution of tardy slips or just a peer to converse with in the lunchroom.

“He is committed to whatever task is in front of him. He is dedicated to Gonzaga. The confidence he has in his abilities demonstrates itself through his willingness to jump right into the mix of whatever he is asked to do,” Mr. Churchwell said. 

Mr. Thompson is not only highly respected by his colleagues and the faculty members around him. The connections Mr. Thompson has built with students so far during his year back on Eye Street as an ASC are second to none. He not only is there for the students, but he yearns to stand in their shoes because he can closely relate to the students.

“Mr. Thompson is the guy who will go out of his way to have a genuine conversation with students and find a way to relate to them. It always brightens my day when I walk into class and see him sitting behind the desk ready to proctor the class,” said Andrew Hoffman ‘25.

Mr. Thompson  watched from the sidelines as the important men in his life worked day in and day out to create better athletes but after all, create better men. Now, it is his turn to step into this role after he watched his father and grandfather do it so well. He will begin to build his legacy and the Gonzaga community is elated to have him step into this role and cannot wait for his career to begin.

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  • R

    Robert J. McCoyMay 7, 2024 at 6:16 pm

    Congratulations to you JT IV ! That’s absolutely great !!
    I’m so very happy and proud of you as you continue the great Thompson family Legacy !
    Blessings to you,
    Min. Robert J. McCoy