Just over a month after his time as head coach at UTSA came to an end, Brooks Thompson is battling a serious medical condition according to the San Antonio Express-News.
Per the newspaper Thompson was admitted to an area hospital with double organ failure. His wife originally disclosed the news via social media, noting that Thompson had not been feeling well for quite some time.
“The doctors told us he wouldn’t live past two days! By the Grace of God and 6 days in ICU – Brooks has miraculously made a turn for the better.”
The former coach’s wife said in the post that her husband is “still in critical condition.”
“Brooks is fighting and getting better each day,” Michelle Thompson wrote. “We need as many prayers as possible — for that is what has gotten Brooks to this point in his fight.”
Thompson spent ten seasons at UTSA before being replaced by former Oklahoma assistant Steve Henson, who took over after the Sooners’ season ended at the Final Four just over two weeks ago.
With success comes opportunity, and for assistant coaches that usually means the opportunity to run their own program.
Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger will have to account for the loss of two assistant coaches at season’s end, as it was learned Thursday that Lew Hill and Steve Henson have both been hired for head coaching jobs. Hill has been named the new head coach at UT Rio Grande Valley, and he’s been a member of Kruger’s coaching staff since 2004 when both were at UNLV.
As for Henson, he’s expected to be hired as the new head coach at UTSA where he’ll replace Brooks Thompson with this news being first reported by The Oklahoman. Like Hill, Henson began working on Kruger’s staff at UNLV in 2004. Since then the two assistants have been a part of eight trips to the NCAA tournament, three Sweet 16 appearances and this year’s trip to the Final Four.
These expected moves leave Chris Crutchfield as the lone remaining assistant on Kruger’s staff heading into the offseason.
Thursday night UTSA announced that head coach Brooks Thompson will not return to the position. Thompson spent ten seasons at the Conference USA program, posting a record of 133 wins and 178 losses. This season the Roadrunners went 5-27, with their season coming to an end in a blowout loss to FIU in the first round of the Conference USA tournament Tuesday.
Thompson’s most successful period at the school spanned from 2008-2012, as he won 18 games or more in each of those four seasons and led the Roadrunners to the NCAA tournament in 2011.
However the Roadrunners have posted four straight losing seasons since that period, with two being single-digit win campaigns (they won eight games in 2013-14). Those four seasons coincided with the school making two conference switches: from the Southland to the WAC in 2012-13, and from the WAC to Conference USA the following year with football being the reasons for the moves.
UTSA had just one senior on this season’s team in forward Ryan Bowie (18.0 ppg, 6.6 rpg), who led the Roadrunners in both scoring and rebounding.
Another in-season tournament schedule has been officially completed, as the slate for the MGM Grand Main Event (to be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas) was announced Wednesday by BD Global Sports. The tournament consists of two four-team brackets, with the teams in the Heavyweight Bracket (Clemson, Creighton, Massachusetts and Rutgers) getting to host at least two home games before heading to Las Vegas for games November 23 (Monday) and 25 (Wednesday).
In the Heavyweight Bracket semifinals November 23, Clemson will take on UMass with Creighton/Rutgers being the other matchup. The consolation and championship games will be held two days later.
There’s also a Middleweight Bracket, with UTSA and Central Arkansas meeting in one semifinal and Texas Southern and Howard in the other. Those four teams will play two road games apiece against the teams in the Heavyweight Bracket before they play in the afternoon sessions in Las Vegas November 23 and 25.
Of the eight teams in the event just one, Texas Southern, played in the NCAA tournament last season. Mike Davis’ Tigers, who won games at Kansas State and Michigan State last season, was the SWAC’s automatic entrant and lost to Arizona in the round of 64.
Monday, Nov. 23 – Session 2 (Evening Session – Game Times TBD)
Clemson vs. UMass
Creighton vs. Rutgers
Wednesday, Nov. 25 – Session 4 (Evening Session – Game Times TBD)
Heavyweight Championship Game
Monday, Nov. 23 – Session 1(Afternoon Session – Game Times TBD)
UTSA vs Central Arkansas
Texas Southern vs. Howard
Wednesday, Nov. 25 – Session 3 (Afternoon Session – Game Times TBD)
Middleweight Championship Game
Nov. 13 – Howard at UMass
Nov. 14 – Texas Southern at Creighton
Nov. 15 – UTSA at Clemson
Nov. 15 – Howard at Rutgers
Nov. 17 – UTSA at Creighton
Nov. 19 – Texas Southern at Clemson
Nov. 19 – Central Arkansas at UMass
Nov. 21 – Central Arkansas at Rutgers
For many freshmen enrolling during the summer gives them the opportunity to get acclimated to a new school while also going through workouts with their teammates. That process is of even greater importance at the service academies, where newcomers are getting used to college life that’s more demanding than your standard college campus.
Forward Garrett Thibodeaux was going through that experience at the Air Force Academy, and it didn’t take him long to figure out that the new situation wasn’t the best for him. Saturday morning it was reported by Brett Briggeman of the Colorado Springs Gazette that Thibodeaux left the program eight days into basic training, and will enroll at UTSA.
The 6-foot-8 forward was one of three newcomers who directly enrolled into the Academy (it isn’t unusual for freshmen to be sent to the Academy’s prep school for a year to help with the adjustment), and he was expected to be a contributor for the Falcons.
Thibodeaux’s exit puts a bit more pressure on some returning Falcons, particularly 6-11 center Zach Moer and 6-8 forward Joe Tuss.
An excellent shooter, Tuss is the one many within the program hope stays healthy and emerges as a Marek Olesinski-type player and allow Moer to reprise his off-the-bench role of a year ago. The rest of the potential lineup would include Hayden Graham, Zach Kocur, Trevor Lyons and someone else, either someone from the incoming group or perhaps sophomore Ryan Manning.
For UTSA, the addition of Thibodeaux gives them an additional piece in a front court that lost its best player in Jeromie Hill (16.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg) and second-best rebounder in Kaj-Björn Sherman (7.0 rpg). Ryan Bowie is UTSA’s best returning rebounder (5.8 rpg), but he’s a 6-foot-1 guard.
UTSA’s now added five front court players to the program in advance of the 2015-16 season, with the group consisting of junior college transfer J.R. Harris and four freshmen (including Thibodeaux).
Multiple conference tournaments tip off on Wednesday, one of which being the Conference USA tournament in Birmingham. And in the first game of the day, FIU and UTSA scripted a finish that will be hard for any game to match this week (or for the remainder of the season, for that matter).
After a Ray Rodriguez free throw gave FIU a 54-51 lead with eight seconds remaining, UTSA’s Keon Lewis hit a three-pointer from the right wing to tie the game. Unfortunately for the Roadrunners there was still time for FIU to attempt one more shot, and Dennis Mavin took full advantage of the opportunity.
Mavin banked in a shot (the defender was close but looked afraid to commit a foul) from half-court as time expired, giving FIU the 57-54 victory. FIU advances to the quarterfinals, where they’ll take on two-seed UTEP Thursday afternoon.
Vine credit: Pierce Roberson