What Todd Thompson considered a "very special day" ended with him earning the ultimate promotion.|
Pending board approval during a special session on Thursday night, Thompson will be named the Moline wrestling coach. Thompson, a former Moline All-Stater and assistant coach, was informed of the decision Tuesday afternoon after the board minutes were made public.
"Overall, it's a great opportunity," Thompson said. "It's going to be a challenge to get Moline wrestling back to the level it once was in the state. I look forward to it. It's going to take hard work, time and dedication. I defintietly welcome the challenge."
Thompson replaces James Ealy, who was removed as the head coach on March 6 before being hired at Alleman last Thursday. The two actually are close friends and Thompson even served as an assistant under Ealy from 2006-09.
"We've communicatee about me possibly taking over," Thompson said. "He has been fully supportive."
Thompson, a 1998 graduate, was a top-ranked wrestler as a senior before placing sixth in the Class AA state meet. He wrestled on the 1998 squad that finished fourth in the state dual meet and the 1997 team that advanced to the Elite Eight. Overall, the Maroons compiled an 89-6 dual record in his four years, highlighted by the 1996 Class AA state dual meet title.
The championship pedigree and background made Thompson a logical fit for the position. On top of that, he spent this winter as the John Deere Middle School head wrestling coach.
"Todd basically blew too many (people) away in the interview with his plan of attack," said Moline athletic director Todd Rosenthal, who coached Thompson in high school "It's going to be a very good fit to what we need right now. It was basically a unanimous vote from the committee."
The two-time state qualifier becomes Moline's sixth coach since the program started in 1947.
"I obviously think we can get back to the top," Thompson said. "It's going to take the dedication both from the coaching staff and the kids. If they're wanting to get back on top, it's not going to be handed to them."