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Allen alum Kelly Thompson returns as head coach of varsity girls’ soccer team

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Brooke Adams, Jr. Managing Editor

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As former head coach Kevin Albury steps down to lead the junior varsity program, Kelly Thompson enters as the new head coach for the varsity girls soccer team this school year. Returning to Allen, where she once played, Thompson said she plans to help the girls finally get past the regional finals and win a state championship.

“Last year they lost in the regional finals — which is where I lost in my senior year as well — so I feel like it’s pretty similar in the skill level and the talent of the program,” Thompson said. “We could really get to that next step that we always wanted to when I was playing here. I know the girls still have that goal as well.”

Thompson said her dream job since she moved here has been to coach for Allen. With an eight-month-old son to take care of and family close by, she believes Allen is the place for her, and hopefully her kids, someday.

“As soon as I heard [the position] was available, that was a conversation we started right away,” Thompson said. “When I was moving back to the area [from Houston], the first call I made was to Allen. The timing wasn’t right for me to come to Allen, but I kept that communication open the past four years. As soon as they knew there was an opening, I talked to them.”

Not only is this the job Thompson was wishing for, but athletic director Steve Williams said she is the coach that the program sought out as well. He believes Thompson has all the boxes checked for what Allen looks for in a quality coach.

“We look for someone who’s a good communicator, a proven winner, and somebody with experience. We feel like we got all three with Coach Thompson,” Williams said.

Thompson’s former coach, Karen Hunnicutt, thinks Thompson’s positive traits as a player will translate into her coaching career, and she believes Thompson will be a great fit for Allen.

“She’s very disciplined, hardworking, tough and a team player,” Hunnicutt said. “I remember her being a very tough player, having ankle injuries and working through those, always playing. Kelly also never had any problem playing with passion or doing what she did to the best of her ability.”

Hunnicutt explained how she was thrilled when Thompson got the job and couldn’t imagine anyone else coaching in Allen. With Thompson being an Allen Eagle alumna, Hunnicutt said she believes Thompson will represent the program well.

“Actually, the first thing I did when I saw Kelly after she got the job was give her my soccer book with all my [practice] drills in it,” Hunnicutt said. “I wanted her to have it.”

Williams also has high hopes for Thompson and her success with the program due to her advantageous attributes.

“She was a hard worker, fierce competitor and didn’t like to lose,” Williams said. “If she has problems, then she’s going to communicate those problems too. She’s a problem solver. I think that she can relate to kids and student athletes. Regardless of what you know, if you can’t relate to your athletes or students, then you’re not going to be successful.”

Thompson’s experience and achievements, Williams believes, will benefit the program and help reach the goal of a state championship for which Allen soccer consistently works.

“I think she knows what it takes to win a state championship,” Williams said. “She has a history of playing at a high level in college and also at a high level in high school. We also watched her career from afar and watched what she did at Ursuline, winning state championships there. We feel like she’d be a good fit for us and our kids.”

This will be Thompson’s tenth year as a head coach, originally becoming a head coach right after college, where she was a four-year letterman at Texas A&M University. She was 23 years old when she began coaching a varsity program, which Thompson believes helped her refine her coaching abilities.

“It’s been different to just kind of see me evolve in those 10 years and get further and further away from the age of the players, but I think it’s a good, positive thing, and I try to still be able to relate to all my players,” Thompson said. “I think it helps my experience here at Allen to relate to the girls and understand where they’re coming from.”

As Thompson continues her coaching career, she said she is eager to coach in Allen because she still hears such good things about Allen and believes it’s a great place.

“[Coaching at Allen] feels like coming home,” Thompson said. “I loved being an Allen Eagle so to be back and on the other side of things has been really fun, and I think it’s going to continue to be.”

 

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