NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Lipscomb volleyball head coach Brandon Rosenthal announced Tuesday the addition of Nate Thompson as assistant coach to his staff for the upcoming 2018 season.
“We are thrilled to welcome and up-and-coming coach in Nate Thompson,” said Rosenthal, who begins his 16th season at the helm of the Bisons program. “I’ve known Nate for some time, so I have first-hand knowledge of the work ethic and experience he will bring to our program.
“From his interview process, it was very evident that Nate is extremely eager to learn and to get better. He also came highly recommended. The day he reached out to us, I got seven or eight phone calls about him and that says a lot about who he is and what others think about him.”
Thompson replaces Todd Garvey, who served at Lipscomb for one season before accepting the head coaching position at Jacksonville State in June.
Thompson joins a Lipscomb program that has thrived under Rosenthal, winning six ASUN Conference titles and making seven NCAA Tournament appearances.
“First, I would like to think Philip Hutcheson, Dr. Lin Garner and Brandon for bringing me into the Lipscomb family and the volleyball program,” Thompson said. “I want nothing more than to continue the championship tradition that has been built here and I am excited to get started.”
Thompson comes to Lipscomb after serving the past two seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator on Carol Price-Torok’s staff. He was also instrumental in overseeing the team’s social media presence.
In his two seasons with the Braves, Thompson helped guide Bradley to improved overall and Missouri Valley Conference win totals in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the 1993 and 1994 seasons.
“Nate brings some experience from Bradley that will help us,” Rosenthal said. “It will be a big benefit for us to have three recruiters out there. More than anything, with his disposition and the way he comes across to people, he is someone that the recruits will love to be around.
“Our girls are a huge judge of character, so when Nate was here visiting I wanted to make sure they met him. They did and they loved him. I always want to hear what they have to say and they came away completely impressed. That told me all I needed to know.”
In 2017, not only did Thompson help guide Bradley to its first double-digit win campaign (10) since 2013, he also helped the Braves to their highest attack percentage (.189) since 2011 and their best kills per set average (13.22) since 2006. On the other side of the ball, the Braves ranked 11th in the nation in digs per set (18.21), which was the program’s highest average since rally scoring was introduced in 2001.
“From my training background of running a club, one of the areas I feel like I am strongest in is getting in the gym and helping our athletes improve on the court,” Thompson said. “By working with this staff and this team, I truly believe we can take Lipscomb’s program as far as we want to and that’s what I plan to do.
“One thing that attracted me to Lipscomb is that the current roster has a ton of experience and talent, but when you also add that to the strong incoming recruiting classes, the future is so bright. There are a lot of great building blocks to keep this program rolling.”
Prior to joining the staff at Bradley, Thompson spent the previous two seasons as co-director of the Vision Volleyball Club in Indianapolis, Indiana in addition to serving as head coach at Fishers High School where he led the team to 22 victories in his final season.
While at Vision, Thompson helped mentor 26 individuals who went on to play collegiate volleyball. He was a part of VVC for five seasons where he began as an assistant in 2011 before working his way to co-director.
“Nate has a variety of experience with him co-directing and running a club, as well as his stint in college coaching,” Rosenthal said. “In his process, as I talked with each person, the message was consistent – Nate is a tireless worker.”
Thompson was a 2013 graduate from IUPUI where he earned a degree in Kinesiology. He spent two seasons as a volunteer assistant there, helping the Jaguars to a then school record 20 wins in 2009. He also helped co-found the IUPUI men’s club volleyball team.
“When I came to Nashville for my interview, everyone I met was extremely welcoming and the vision lined up with exactly what I was looking for in a program.
“Everyone in the volleyball world knows about Lipscomb and Brandon’s track record is one that garners a lot of respect. I can’t tell you how excited I am to begin working with him and Stephanie (Ross).