The most veteran member of the East Mississippi Community College coaching family, Sharon Thompson begins her 12th season as head coach of the EMCC women’s basketball team and 16th season overall with the Lady Lion program.
Having succeeded former EMCC coaching veteran Dale Peay in 2005 following a previous four-year stint as the Lady Lions’ assistant basketball coach, Thompson has compiled an 11-year head coaching record of 133-135, which includes three MACJC North Division regular-season titles and an NJCAA Region 23 championship.
A season ago led by All-Region 23 freshman Quantesha Patterson and two-time all-state guard Ki-Ki Patterson, the 13-9 Lady Lions went unbeaten during the first half of MACJC North Division play en route to qualifying for the MACJC State Tournament.
Two years prior, Thompson enjoyed a productive 2013-14 campaign by eclipsing the 100-win mark for her career and guiding the EMCC women to their third MACJC North Division crown in a six-year span. The 2013-14 Lady Lions recorded their most overall wins (16-9 record) and best division mark (11-1) since the 2008-09 East Mississippi women’s team made an NJCAA Tournament appearance by winning the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament.
Previously, Thompson’s 2010-11 Lady Lions posted a second straight 15-win season (15-10), including a division-best 9-3 league mark, en route to advancing to the regional semifinals for the third consecutive year.
Unquestionably the highlight of her EMCC coaching career to date came when Thompson’s 2008-09 Lady Lion squad went 25-7 overall en route to making the school’s first NJCAA Tournament appearance since 1978. Thompson garnered MACJC State and NJCAA District O Coach of the Year honors that season after East Mississippi claimed the MACJC North Division title with an 11-1 mark and then proceeded to win the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament. She capped her successful campaign by participating as a court coach during the 2009 USA Basketball National Team Trials in Colorado Springs, Colo.
A native of nearby Geiger, Ala., and a former two-time all-state player at Sumter County High School in York, Ala., Thompson has served as an elected member of the Sumter County Board of Education since 2004.
On the heels of a standout playing career at Mississippi State, Thompson was the No. 6 pick overall in the 1998 American Basketball League Draft. She played the 1998-99 season with the ABL’s San Jose Lasers in California and spent 1999-2000 playing professionally in Italy.
Highlighted by her 2005 selection into the SEC Greats Program for her playing contributions at the collegiate level at MSU, Thompson was a four-year starter (1994-98) for the Lady Bulldogs under former head coaches Jerry Henderson and Sharon Fanning. An SEC All-Freshman pick as a rookie, she went on to claim second-team all-league honors as a junior and capped her MSU career as a first-team all-SEC recipient in 1997-98. Thompson averaged an SEC-best 9.6 rebounds per game as a freshman and posted her career-best scoring average (16.8 ppg) during her senior year.
Having paced the Lady Bulldogs in rebounding all four years of her career, Thompson currently ranks among MSU’s career leaders in scoring (1,526 points), rebounding (936), made field goals (566) and made free throws (366).
Thompson earned her bachelor’s degree in educational psychology from MSU. She completed her master’s degree in physical education from the University of West Alabama in 2003.