Thompson takes over successful soccer program

Thompson takes over successful soccer program

After 17 seasons as the South Dakota State soccer team’s head coach, Lang Wedemeyer announced Jan. 31 that he would be stepping down to take the head coaching position at Liberty University.

SDSU Athletic Director Justin Sell announced later that day that SDSU assistant soccer coach Brock Thompson would be named the Jackrabbits’ new head coach. Thompson has been an asst. at SDSU for the past nine years.

“It was an emotional week, last week, for sure,” Thompson said. “Seeing him [Wedemeyer] was bittersweet for sure because he’s meant so much to so many people. But I’m honored with the chance to lead this program and to carry on the things that SDSU soccer means to people.”

Under Wedemeyer, the Jacks went to four NCAA tournaments and were four-time Summit League Tournament champions. The team also had 10 or more wins in eight of the last nine seasons. Thompson was an assistant when the Jacks made all of these achievements.

Thompson comes to the job with head coaching experience from three seasons at the University of Mary and three seasons at the University of North Dakota. His head coaching record is 61-36-7.

Even though Thompson has been a head coach, he said he learned the most about coaching while working under Wedemeyer.

Even though Thompson has been a head coach, he said he learned the most about coaching while working under Wedemeyer.

“I’ve learned a ton from Lang, and I don’t think there is a better person to leave a road map, as far as leading a program, than him,” Thompson said. “Being the head coach of a program is about the people that are involved and creating an environment and a culture where everybody thrives.”

Thompson wants to keep the style of play that has led to the success the program has had.

“I love the way we play and train, so I don’t see the way we play changing. We’ll still be founded in effort and grit we show defensively,” Thompson said.

With the four NCAA tournament appearances, Thompson said the next step his program can take is winning a tournament game.

“We want to go deeper in the tournament,” Thompson said. “Our focus is creating daily habits that will produce long-term results and long-term success so we can compete with anyone in the country.”

The Jacks finished this past season with an overall record of 10-7-4 and a 5-3 Summit League record. SDSU then won the Summit League Tournament, but fell to Nebraska in penalty kicks in the NCAA tournament.

Thompson is looking ahead to next year and how his team will handle the transition.

“I love the leadership of this team, during this unique time of losing a coach who’s been here for 17 years,” Thompson said. “I like the fact that we return a whole lot of players who scored a lot of goals. So it’s very exciting to have a good chunk of our attack coming back.”