May 21, 2003
Tallahassee, FL –
Florida State soccer head coach Patrick Baker announced the hiring of Rob Thompson as the team’s new assistant coach. The Grimsby, England native will serve as the team’s goalkeeper coach and will have additional responsibilities when it comes to individual training and team travel. Thompson has spent the past two seasons as the goalkeeping coach and team administrator for the New York Power of the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA). He replaces John Galas who left FSU to assume assistant coaching duties at his alma mater, the University of Oregon.
“I am very excited to have Rob joining my staff and feel we have someone who can continue the level of excellence here at Florida State,” said Baker. “With his college and professional coaching background, he brings some new dimensions to the program. We feel fortunate to have attracted someone of his abilities to Florida State University and are looking forward to using his expertise.”
“I am really looking forward to coming to Florida State and working with Patrick (Baker) and the team. It is a very talented group and they are bringing in another very talented recruiting class,” said Thompson. “I am looking forward to being part of the very strong program Patrick has built in Tallahassee.”
Thompson has spent the last seven years as a goalkeeper coach at all levels of collegiate and professional soccer. He is currently the area representative for Dan Gaspar’s Star Goalkeeper Academy. Gaspar is the current goalkeeper coach for the Portuguese Men’s National team. From 1999 to 2002, Thompson was the personal trainer for NY/NJ Metrostars backup goalkeeper, Paul Grafer.
In his time with the WUSA’s Power, Thompson was responsible for planning and conducting daily training sessions to aid in the progress and development of the team’s goalkeepers. In 2002, Thompson worked with Power GK Saskia Webber who was second in the league in saves and in the top 10 for GAA. He also assisted head coach Tom Sermanni in all aspects of on field training and game preparation.
“The standard of play in the WUSA is very high with the top college and international players as well as the US National Team players,” said Thompson. “That level not only raised my expectation level of players but also made me a better coach. I think my experience at the professional level will allow me to assist Patrick in the further development of the team.”
Before moving to the WUSA, Thompson spent a year at the Division I level as the goalkeeper coach for the men’s soccer team at Adelphi University. Thompson worked with goalkeeper Igor Yatsenko who led the conference that year with a 0.84 goals against average in 1076:04 minutes of play. Yatsenko also led the conference in save percentage with 50 saves and 10 goals against for a .833 average. He was also the director for the Adelphi University Goalkeeper Camp.
“I was always looking to get back into the college game I just never expected the right opportunity to come along so quickly,” said Thompson. “After talking with Patrick and then spending a few days on campus at Florida State, I realized what a fantastic opportunity it was. This position is too good to turn down at this stage of my career.”
From 1998-2001, Thompson had his first stint coaching professional soccer with the Long Island Rough Riders of the A-League. During his tenure on Long Island, the Riders went to the playoffs three times and posted a 57-46-7 record. While with the team, Thompson also served as the assistant director of the Rough Riders Soccer Camp.
Thompson’s first coaching stint came at Division II Lock Haven University where he was the assistant coach for the men’s and women’s teams. While at the Pennsylvania school, he assisted in recruiting student-athletes for both teams, planning international pre-season tours and fundraising. He was also the assistant director of the Lock Haven University Soccer Camp. Thompson received his Master’s degree in Liberal Arts and Bachelor of Science in Recreation, Leisure and Commercial Management from Lock Haven.