McEachern boys basketball coach Mike Thompson, who led his team to its first state title last week and multiple current No. 1 national rankings, is the winner of the Naismith National High School Boys Basketball Coach of the Year Award, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Wednesday morning.
Thompson led McEachern to a 32-0 record in Georgia and the Class AAAAAAA championship. McEachern defeated defending champ Meadowcreek 62-54 in the title game last week in Macon.
McEachern is ranked No. 1 by MaxPreps, BlueStar and the Prep Circuit Power 50 and No. 2 by USA Today and in the Ballislife.com Fab 50.
McEachern has accepted an invitation to play in the GEICO High School Nationals to be held April 4-6 in New York, where the Indians could become the first Georgia team to win a national championship since Southwest-Macon in 1979. The event features eight teams.
McEachern bolstered its record with tournament victories at the City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers, Fla., and the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions in Springfield, Mo. McEachern is 9-0 vs. teams that have been in this seaason’s MaxPreps’ Xcellent 25.
Under Thompson, McEachern has reached the Georgia quarterfinals or better five times. Thompson’s record in 11 seasons at McEachern is 270-57.
Thompson is the first Georgia boys or girls coach to win the award, first given in 2008.
“To be named the Naismith High School Coach of the Year is an honor that must be shared by my assistant coaches, players and staff,” said Thompson. “There are so many deserving coaches around the country, so I'm very proud to be one of those coaches. I want to thank the Atlanta Tipoff Club, the Naismith voting academy and Jersey Mike's for this great honor.”
The winner of the Naismith High School Girls Coach of the Year is Ochiel Swaby of Miami Country Day, which finished 26-1 and won a sixth straight state championship in Florida.
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