Ronny Thompson

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This article is about the basketball coach and broadcaster. For other persons with similar names, see Ronnie Thompson (disambiguation).
Ronald Thompson
Sport(s) Basketball
Current position
Title Broadcaster
Team Georgetown University
Biographical details
Born 1969
Washington, D.C.
Playing career
1989–1992 Georgetown University
Accomplishments and honors
Awards
Emmy Award - National Academy Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), Chesapeake Bay Chapter (June 2010)

Ronald Thompson (born 1969) is an American former college basketball coach and current Emmy Award-winning broadcaster for Comcast SportsNet, based in Bethesda, Maryland. He is the son of Gwen Thompson and former Georgetown University head coach John R. Thompson, Jr., whose children also include a daughter, Tiffany, and current Georgetown coach John Thompson III.

A native Washingtonian, Ron spent his formative years on basketball courts in the Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the metropolitan area. He contributed on AAU teams in that region and played high school basketball for coach Stu Vetter at Flint Hill School in Oakton, Virginia. In 1992, Thompson graduated from Georgetown University as a four-year basketball letterman with a degree in Sociology. After a brief stint as a trading assistant with Prudential Securities in New York City, he became an assistant coach, first at the University of Oregon, then with Loyola College in Maryland. His career in professional sports began as a video coordinator for Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown and the Philadelphia 76ers; shortly afterward, he became a 76ers scout. Thompson next returned to his alma mater as an assistant, and took a similar role at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

Thompson accepted the head coaching job at Ball State University in April 2006.[1] In his one season as coach of the Cardinals they finished a disappointing 9-22. Following the season, controversy developed surrounding a potential NCAA investigation into the basketball coaching staff attending voluntary player workouts outside of the regulated practice dates. Thompson resigned as men's basketball coach in July 2007, later claiming that he had been in a "racially hostile work environment." [2] The Ball State newspaper reported that on Sunday, June 24, 2007, "men's basketball coach Ronny Thompson was greeted at his office with seven note cards that simply read 'liars, cheaters, [racial slur].'" [3] Ball State later exonerated Thompson of rules violations,[4] apologized and awarded him a $200,000 settlement. "In return, Thompson agreed to waive all claims he may have against the university and that nothing in the settlement constitutes an admission of liability or illegality by either party." [5]

Ron joined Comcast SportsNet in 2007, offering pre-game/postgame analysis for the Washington Wizards and color commentary for college games. He also hosted the series "My Life 365 with Ron Thompson," which featured interviews with the nation's preeminent athletes and media figures. His subjects included sports/media moguls Ted Leonsis and Sheila Johnson, former Duke University swingman Grant Hill, Georgetown teammate Alonzo Mourning, and legendary Hoyas guard Allen Iverson (the latter for which Thompson received an Emmy). Thompson also conducted a rare, exclusive interview with Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant months before the NBA star helped secure their seventeenth franchise title. (In the summer of 2010, Thompson served as director of the Kobe Bryant/Nike Summer Basketball Camp which toured China.)

Ron is also a contributor to NBA TV and occasionally serves as guest-host for "The John Thompson Show," broadcast daily on-air/online from ESPN Radio.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Herman, Steve (2006-04-04). "Ball State picks Ronny Thompson as its new coach". USA Today. 
  2. ^ Garcia, Marlen (2007-09-27). "Stir over Thompson's exit lingers at Ball State". USA Today. 
  3. ^ Wood, Ryan (October 17, 2009). "A year ago Wednesday, racially charged notes were found in Ronny Thompson's coaching office". The Ball State Daily News. 
  4. ^ Garcia, Marlen (2007-12-21). "Ball State report clears Thompson of NCAA violations". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-12-21. 
  5. ^ AP (2008-01-23). "Ball State to pay ex-coach Thompson $200,000 in settlement". USA Today.