Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University Athletics Department has appointed Dawn Thompson as interim head softball coach for the 2011-12 academic year in an announcement made today (Aug. 11) by FSU Athletics Director Perk Weisenburger.
Thompson, who has served as an assistant coach on the softball staff the last three seasons, will fill the void left by the departure of longtime head coach Keri Becker. She was recently named associate athletics director and senior women's administrator at Grand Valley State.
"We are pleased to announce that Dawn Thompson, our assistant coach for the past three seasons, will take over as interim head softball coach for the 2011-12 season," Weisenburger said. "Dawn knows our players, our University, this softball program and is prepared to take over where Keri Becker left off. We will complete a search for the permanent head softball coach position in the spring, but for right now Dawn's appointment provides us with the leadership and stability we need for our softball program".
Thompson began her responsibilities at Ferris State in September 2008 during the fall exhibition season. Before that time, she served nine (2000-08) seasons as the head varsity softball coach at Big Rapids (Mich.) High School.
In her three seasons with the Bulldogs, Thompson has helped Ferris State to a 85-49 overall record and three consecutive 20-plus win seasons. The Bulldogs also reached the NCAA Division II Tournament and posted a 35-10 overall mark in her initial season during the 2009 campaign.
"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to continue my coaching career at Ferris State University," Thompson said. "It's a program that has a strong softball tradition and I look forward to working with our players in an effort to build on that success."
Prior her arrival at Ferris State, Thompson directed the Big Rapids Varsity Softball team to three conference championships and two district titles during her nine-year career. In 2008, she was recognized by the Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association (MHSSCA) for surpassing 200 career victories. Since 2000, Thompson has been the head coach of the BRHS' varsity girls basketball program and was responsible for guiding the Cardinals to three league titles and three district crowns.
The Howard City, Mich., native began her coaching career in 1999 in which she served as the junior varsity softball head coach at her alma mater Tri-County High School in Howard City, Mich., and also was an assistant coach of the Big Rapids' varsity girls basketball team.
As a collegian at Central Michigan University, Thompson was an All-Mid American Conference (MAC) Second-Team selection at third base in 1998 after earning all-conference honorable mention plaudits in 1997 under head coach Margo Jonker. A two-time (1997 and 1998) MAC All-Academic Team honoree, Thompson was a member of two (1995 and 1998) Mid-American Conference Championship Teams while playing for the Chippewas. A four-year (1995-98) letterwinner at Central Michigan, Thompson holds the distinction of being the inaugural recipient of the CMU softball program's Beth Pawlak Memorial Award for dedication, leadership, hard work, and positive attitude.
Thompson received her bachelor's degree from Central Michigan in 1999 and would earn a Master's Degree in educational leadership from Grand Valley State University in 2005.
A 1994 graduate of Tri-County High School, Thompson attained All-Newaygo County Athletic Association, all-district, and all-regional softball accolades in each of her last three (1992-94) prep campaigns. She twice (1992 and 1994) was recognized as a honorable mention all-state pick while garnering all-area kudos three consecutive seasons (1992-94). Thompson, a three-year prep varsity softball letterwinner for the Vikings, was a 1994 West Michigan All-Area First-Team selection. In basketball, she was chosen twice (1992 and 1993) as an all-conference performer and tabbed as an all-area honoree three times (1991-93).
Thompson was a second-team West Michigan All-Area pick on the hardwood as a senior in the 1993 season. She received three varsity letters in basketball and two in volleyball at TCHS.
The daughter of Michael and Laura Thompson of Howard City, Dawn has two brothers and two sisters. She resides in Big Rapids and currently works as a special education teacher at Big Rapids High School.