Hall of Fame coaches are no stranger to the South Carolina staff. Nine-year assistant Angela Thompson was named to her alma mater Austin Peay's Hall of Fame in January 2005. Recognized as the best pitcher ever to play for the Lady Govs, Thompson became only the second softball player to be inducted into the APSU Hall of Fame.
Thompson serves as the Gamecocks' pitching coach, and, under her guidance, South Carolina has thrown eight no-hitters with former standouts Megan Matthews, Stacey Johnson, Aleca Johnson, Melissa Hendon and Kate Pouliot all accomplishing the feat. In her eight-year stint at USC, her pitchers have compiled a 291-221-2 record. Also, she has six of her pupils on South Carolina's all-time saves listing, five among South Carolina's leaders in strikeouts, four on the appearances and innings pitched lists and three on the win, complete game and shutout charts.
Thompson also has helped direct the Gamecocks' camps and clinics for the past eight years and assists with recruiting. She also coordinates the team's travel throughout the year.
Under Thompson, Stacey Johnson won 17 games as a freshman in 2001, while in 2002, Aleca Johnson posted a 9-2 record as a freshman, including earning a win over then-No. 1 UCLA in the NCAA Regionals.
She tutored Melissa Hendon, who stands among the Gamecock best in strikeouts, shutouts, complete games and saves, for two years. Kate Pouliot also improved during her time under Thompson, ranking in the top 10 in innings pitched, strikeouts and saves.
"Angela is very knowledgeable in working with pitchers and we have the consistency, which is important to the pitching staff," said head coach Joyce Compton. "Our pitchers have continued to show improvement under Angela."
Thompson came to Carolina from the University of Alabama-Birmingham where she helped start the program. At UAB, she coached a freshman pitcher to second-team All-Conference USA honors.
Before coming to UAB, Thompson coached for three seasons at Middle Tennessee State University. At MTSU, she coached freshman Jennifer Martinez to Pitcher of the Year honors, as well as Freshman of the Year honors in the Ohio Valley Conference in 1999. Thompson's pitcher was ranked in the top 10 in the nation for lowest ERA and strikeouts during the 1999 season.
Thompson honed her skills with two of the top pitching coaches in the nation, Gary Martineau and Cheri Kempf of Nashville, Tenn. She has worked at numerous camps in the Southeast including the USA Gold Medal Camps with Ralph Weekly, as well as numerous college camps.
The Nashville, Tenn., native did her undergraduate work at Austin Peay, graduating in 1995. Thompson received her Master of Science degree from Middle Tennessee State in 1998.
As a player, Thompson still holds many Austin Peay and Ohio Valley Conference pitching records. She was ranked in the top 10 in the nation in ERA and strikeouts in 1993-94, while earning OVC Pitcher of the Year honors in 1993. She also traveled to Illinois to play against top competition in the women's majors in 1993 and 1994.
Angela Thompson File
- Born: July 27, 1973 in Nashville, Tenn.
- High School Education: Nashville Christian School, 1991
- College Education: Bachelor of Science in Public Relations, Austin Peay, 1995; Master of Science, Middle Tennessee State, 1998
- College Softball: Ranked in the top 10 in lowest ERA in the nation and most strikeouts 1993-94; Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year in 1993.
- Coaching Career: Assistant Coach Middle Tennessee State, 1997-99; Assistant Coach Alabama-Birmingham, 2000; Assistant Coach South Carolina, 2001-present.