Auburn Montgomery Athletic Director Jim Herlihy announced the hiring of Ryan Thompson as second head men’s and women’s cross country coach in the program's history on February 1, 2016.
Thompson spent the majority of the past six years at Charleston Southern, where he served as the cross country coach and assistant track and field coach for the Buccaneers. He most recently served as a volunteer assistant with the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Class 7A State Cross Country champions, Auburn High School.
“I am really excited to be part of the AUM family, especially as we transition to the NCAA Division II ranks” Thompson said. “I would like to thank (Athletic Director) Jim Herlihy and the hiring committee for their confidence in me and my vision for the program. I look forward to meeting the team and building on the foundation that has been established. My goal is to recruit student-athletes who are successful in the classroom and competitive athletically, with our ultimate goal being to compete for a conference championship.”
While with the Buccaneers, Thompson was responsible for the daily operations of the men’s and women’s cross country programs, including planning of practices, recruitment of student-athletes, budget oversight and fundraising initiatives. He also worked with the mid-distance and distance runners on the men’s and women’s track and field teams. Thompson served as co-director of the 2010 Big South Outdoor Track Championships and race director for the summer community track series held on CSU’s campus.
Under his leadership, the 2011 women’s cross country team recorded its highest team in the conference championship since the 2002 season. The Bucs also had their top women’s runner finish 11th overall, marking the highest individual finish during the same span. The men’s team finished with the fourth highest grade point average among NCAA Division I programs during the 2009-10 season.
Individually, he coached one Big South Conference individual champion, as well as two All-BSC relay teams. Ten student-athletes earned top-five finishes and new school records were set on 16 occasions. In the classroom, 21 student-athletes earned conference all-academic honors and three teams – the 2009 and 2010 men, as well as the 2012 women – received NCAA Division I All-Academic team honors.
Prior to his arrival at CSU, Thompson spent nine months as a volunteer assistant coach with College of Charleston, where he assisted the cross country teams with practices. During his tenure, the top men’s runner record four top-10 finishes and finished 15th at the 2007 Southern Conference Cross Country championships.
Thompson earned his undergraduate degree from Mercer University, where he was a two-year captain for the Bears. He also earned his master’s degree from College of Charleston in 2008.
Thompson is married to the former Anna Guerin. The couple has a four-year old daughter, Halsey.