Jim Thompson was named the head coach at Virginia Tech prior to the 1998-99 season. Since coming to Blacksburg, the Hokies have made postseason 14 times, produced a pair of All-Americans and qualified 23 times for NCAA singles/doubles field.
Under Thompson's direction, since joining the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Hokies have earned All-ACC honors 25 times. Including two who were four-time honorees during their careers, Amerigo Contini and Andreas Bjerrehus (2012-16). The program has also had two three-time All-ACC selections in Luka Somen (2008-12) and Joao Monteiro (2012-16).
Monteiro joined Aaron Marchetti (1999) as Thompson’s second All-American selection after earning a top-16 seed to the NCAA singles tournament in 2016 where he advanced to the Final Four of the tournament to finish the season ranked No. 9 in the country – the highest end-of-the-year ranking for a Hokie in program history.
In addition to racking up individual successes as a member of the ACC, Tech has finished ranked in the national poll every season except for one and has at least one player ranked in the singles standings every year since 2002.
The Hokies turned in a 16-9 record in 2019 and finished just shy of making the NCAA field. Senior Jason Kros represented Tech at NCAA singles after having a breakout season as he stepped in to the No. 1 following an early spring injury to Mitch Harper. Kros finished the season ranked No. 70 and along with Henrik Korsgaard earned All-ACC honors.
Tech returned to NCAAs in 2018 as a team, placed Harper in the NCAA singles tournament while Henrik Korsgaard and Alex Ribeiro paired up for the doubles tournament. All three finished the season ranked with Harper at No. 27 in singles. Korsgaard and Ribeiro were No. 47 in doubles. Harper was a first-team All-ACC selection and was picked to compete in the ITA Masters tournament the following fall. Tech also claimed a win over then-defending national champion Virginia for the first time in 15 seasons.
In 2016, the Hokies had another solid season, with Monteiro, Bjerrehus, and Contini all in their senior campaigns. Tech finished the year again with four players earning All-ACC honors – Monteiro (9), Bjerrehus (61), Edoardo Tessaro (82) and Contini (114) as they all also finished ranked in the final ITA standings.
The standout performance of the year, however, was senior Monteiro who began his career playing sporadically as a freshman in the No. 5/6 match. In 2016, Monteiro dominated on the court with a 37-13 overall record that season, including 20-8 in the spring. He saw action primarily at the No. 1 for the Hokies and was ranked 16th heading into the NCAA singles, earning him All-America honors. Monteiro advanced to the Final Four of the singles championship before falling to eventual national champion Mackenzie McDonald of UCLA.
The Hokies put together one of the greatest seasons in program history in 2015, finishing the year 20-5 and ranked No. 18 in the nation. Tech earned a first round site for the NCAA tournament that year and finished with four players ranked in the ITA: Bjerrehus (52), Contini (77), Hunter Koontz (113) and Monteiro (115). All four Hokies earned All-ACC honors and Thompson was named ACC Coach of the Year, finishing second in the league with a 10-2 record.
Thompson’s 2014 squad received a bid to the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship after finishing the regular season with a 13-10 record and then going 1-1 at the ACC Championship. The Hokies lost to then-No. 19 Vanderbilt in the first round of the NCAAs on the Commodores’ home court. Contini, a first-team All-ACC choice, won a match at the NCAA Singles Championship and finished with an 18-7 record in dual matches.
In 2013 Tech returned to the NCAAs after a 16-10 overall record and a 6-4 mark in the ACC. The Hokies defeated seven ranked teams during the season including a first round upset of No. 22 Michigan in the NCAA Tournament. Tech also had the ACC Freshman of the Year and the Mid-Atlantic Region Player to Watch in Contini. Under Thompson’s guidance, Contini became the first freshman in program history to represent the Hokies at the NCAA Singles Championship. Contini, along with Bjerrehus, earned All-ACC honors. Tech finished the season ranked in the ITA final standings for the 18th straight year.
During the 2012 campaign, the Hokies earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament after finishing with a season record of 11-12, 7-4 in the ACC. Tech claimed five wins against ranked opponents during the season. Somen earned his third consecutive All-ACC selection, as well as being named the ITA Mid-Atlantic Region Senior of the Year. He finished up a stellar career for the Hokies when he became just the fifth Tech player ever to earn his second bid to the NCAA Singles Championships. Fellow senior Corrado Degl’ Incerti Tocci garnered the ITA Mid-Atlantic Region Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award.
In 2011, the Hokies advanced to the Round of 32 and finished the season ranked No. 35 after facing 20 teams ranked in the final poll of the season, including four matches against top-12 opponents. During the 2010 season, the Hokies battled their way through a rugged national schedule featuring 18 matches against ranked opposition. Tech ended the season with a No. 24 national ranking after advancing to the second round of the NCAAs.
Thompson, the 2010 Atlantic Region Coach of the Year, has received several regional and national honors during his tenure. In December of 2009, he was one of 10 sectional winners of USTA/ITA Community Outreach Award for the Mid-Atlantic Section. Thompson previously was named the 2003 Northeast Region Coach of the Year as well as the 2003 BIG EAST Conference Coach of the Year. In 2000, he was selected to coach the Mid-Atlantic team in the Junior Davis Cup Competition.
In his first season, Thompson’s Hokies advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen for the first time in school history and recorded a 22-7 record.
In addition to his coaching responsibilities, Thompson has served on the ITA Rules Committee and has been a member of the ITA Operating Committee. Currently, Thompson serves as the Chairman of the ITA Atlantic Region.
PRIOR TO VIRGINIA TECH
Thompson joined the Hokies after spending four years as the director of tennis and head coach for both the men’s and women’s programs at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He guided the UTC women’s team to the Southern Conference Championship in 1997 and was named coach of the year. In 1998, he led the men’s team to the conference championship.
During a four-year stint as the head women’s coach at Anderson College in South Carolina, Thompson built a nationally recognized program that climbed as high as third in the nation. He was named Region X Coach of the Year in 1991, 1993 and 1994.
Prior to his time at Anderson, Thompson served as the assistant women’s coach at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. Working under Karen Gaiser, Thompson gained his first experience at managing a nationally recognized tennis program.
Before entering coaching, Thompson competed successfully and earned ATP points on the professional circuit throughout the United States, Europe, Australia and North Africa.
As a collegiate player, Thompson held the No. 1 position on the Davidson College men’s tennis team from 1986 to 1988 and was captain in 1987 and 1988. In 1987, he won the Southern Conference Indoor Championships and was twice awarded the Southern Conference Sportsmanship Award. During the summer of 1987, Thompson won the USTA National Championships in Augusta, Georgia, in both singles and doubles and finished runner-up in the National Championships in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Thompson’s success as a player continued after college as he achieved a Southern No. 2 sectional ranking in 1993 in the 25-and-over age division.
Thompson is married to B’easy, and they have two daughters, Sophia and Ginsey and a son, Frank.