Thomson to lead TC women?s soccer

Former All-KCAC goalkeeper Ian Thomson is the new head women?s soccer coach at Tabor College. He played two years for the Bluejay men?s team and said he is excited to lead the women?s program.A former goalkeeper for the Tabor College men?s soccer team has returned to his alma mater to lead the women?s soccer program.

Ian Thomson, who spent the past four years as the head women?s soccer coach at Independence Community College, brings coaching and playing experience to the position.

Thomson?s interest in the sport began at an early age. Born in Kansas City, he grew up playing soccer, but a move to Pittsburg limited his opportunities to play the game.

?On the playground, it?s all we ever played in Kansas City,? Thomson said. ?When I went to Pittsburg, they didn?t have soccer, and so I didn?t play for a couple years. I thought I was done.?

However, in sixth grade, Thomson began playing soccer with the YMCA. Upon reaching the end of the YMCA year, Thomson was among a group of about 30 who wanted to keep playing. They formed Pittsburg?s first traveling club team when Thomson was in seventh grade.

Thomson was later instrumental in introducing soccer at Pittsburg High.

?My sophomore year, we went to the school board and proposed to them to create a soccer team for athletics, and they did,? he said. ?We competed as JV my sophomore year, and then varsity my junior and senior year.

?We didn?t really care about wins and losses much. We wanted to win, obviously, but we were just happy to play.?

Upon graduating from PHS, he played soccer as a goalkeeper at Neosho County Community College for two years.

He earned his associate degree in 2004, then transitioned to Tabor, where he played two seasons of soccer while pursuing a degree in graphic design.

In his first year at Tabor, Thomson earned All-KCAC honors as a goalkeeper.

?My junior year, I had a really good year,? he said. ?We hosted a playoff game and did really well.?

The summer prior to his senior season, Thomson played soccer in Europe.

He graduated from Tabor in 2006, and has since served as a high school coach at Pittsburg and also helped start the Southeast Kansas Soccer Academy.

?Pittsburg, Kan., isn?t the soccer hub of America,? Thomson said. ?It?s pretty tough sledding sometimes, but we did it, and we had fun, and it helped me get to where I?m at now.?

Making the move

Thomson said he is excited to return to Tabor. He realized Tabor had helped shape him more than first thought.

?When I was at Tabor, all I wanted to do was play soccer,? he said. ?The extra aspect that I didn?t sign up for when I came to Tabor was the Christian element and the environment. It was something I really didn?t know was here. I really found out what Tabor did for my life in kind of guiding me and just subtly shaping who I wanted to be as a person.?

Thomson is excited about living in Hillsboro. He and wife Melissa have two sons, Sawyer, 9, and Moses, almost 1.

?I?ve always been a small-town guy,? he said. ?It?s just a family community environment that values the important things.?

Program goals

Thomson said his goal for the women?s program is to orchestrate a competitive program and help it thrive.

?I?m happy to be back and excited to work with Grant (Brubacher, men?s coach), and I think together we can grow the program as a whole,? Thomson said. ?Specifically women?s soccer, we want to be competitive, grow the program, and just start to get our name out there.?

Coaching also allows him to influence others.

?I feel that now I get the opportunity to give young ladies the same opportunity I had, which is to grow and develop as a young adult, and just kind of help mold and shape them for the career path that?s going forward, and we get to do it with a Christian influence,? he said.

?I just try to help them out and give them life lessons and say, ?This is what God did for me here, and now I feel like I?m back to help give back and repay that kindness that Tabor showed me.?

?I?m excited to be back. It?s a great place, just comfortable and fun.?

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