By Ed Greif
June 16 was supposed to have been a Happy Birthday/Happy Father's Day, but learning late Sunday of the loss of a long-time coach/educator/family man ruined the day.
William E. (Bill) Thompson passed away Sunday at his Rockwood home, where he had lived with his wife, Pat, and three children, sons Guy and Craig and daughter Traci Mioduski. He is also survived by his brother, Attorney Jim Thompson and his family of Crossville, and sisters Mary Whiting and Barbara O'Reilly, plus several grandchildren, neices and nephews.
The Pleasant Hill native graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a BS degree and MTSU with a M.S. degree plus 45 hours.
Over the years, he taught in Florida, Crossville, CCHS, Cleveland and Rockwood, where coached boys basketball for 23 years, compiling an impressive win/loss record, and was named Tri-State Coach of the Year twice and TSSAA Class AA Coach of the Year in 1990.
After retiring as RHS coach, he was principal at Rockwood Middle School until he retired in December of 2011. The middle school gymnasium is named in his honor, and he was a member of the Rockwood City Council at the time of death Sunday.
I remember he came to RHS in 1967-'68, replacing Ron Shumate who left for Harriman and then later guided the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Mocs to a national championship in 1977.
He was a gentleman, a scholar and an outstanding teacher/coach/administratior, and he will be sorely missed.
My condolences go to his entire family.
The mandatory TSSAA dead period begins Saturday and extends through July 6 for all schools in the state, with official practices beginning the week of July 29.
This means the annual Crossville Chronicle Fall Sports Preview will be published prior to the season openers for the CCHS and SMHS football teams on Aug. 23.
The questionnaires will be delivered to the schools July 8 and must be returned by Aug. 8. If they are not returned by Aug. 8, those teams will not be included in the section.
(Ed Greif is the Chronicle sports editor and his column appears regularly.)