Matthew L. Thompson was named the University of the District of Columbia men’s head soccer coach on May 3, 2011. He was also appointed to serve a four-year term (2014-2018) on the NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Committee, representing the East Region.
In his first year at the helm of the UDC men's soccer program, Thompson doubled the Firebirds' win total from the previous year as he guided them to an 8-5-4 record in the Fall 2011. It was double the wins UDC had the previous season and equaled the combined win total of the previous two seasons.
In 2012, Thompson led the men's soccer program to a 6-9-2 record (2-6-1 in conference) in their first season in the very competitive East Coast Conference. The Firebirds earned their first ever ECC win against Dowling College, 2-1, on September 29, 2012. They also defeated an eventual NCAA Division II Final Four team in Mercyhurst, 1-0 on September 7, 2012.
A raw but talented 2013 team which finished 7-6-3 overall offers proof that Thompson and the Firebirds are well on their way to ascending into the ECC's elite. The Firebirds were 6-4 through 10 games when their season was suddenly interrupted by the US federal government shutdown from October 1st through October 16th. Consequently, two non-conference games had to be cancelled and the Firebirds were forced to play their remaining six ECC contests in a period of just 10 days. Running on fumes, the Firebirds managed only one win in those final six games, though they did force three ties; including, a 2-2 tie vs. the No. 15 ranked team in the country, LIU Post.
The 2014 season saw the Firebirds earn the program's most wins in 10 years, as they went 9-7-1 overall (5-5 ECC). UDC remained in contention to qualify for the program's first ECC Championship Tournament all season long; however, needing a win or a tie in its final regular season game at home, the Firebirds fell to Dowling in overtime, 2-1. Along the way, UDC earned a No. 21 NSCAA national ranking - the program's first top-25 national ranking ever - on September 9th. That same week, after opening the season 2-0, they also earned their highest ever East Region ranking of No. 3. Also, goalkeeper Louis Connor and forward Felix Angerer were named 2nd and 3rd Team NSCAA All-Region. Connor (Honorable Mention) and Angerer (1st Team) also joined Nenad Smiljanic (2nd Team) and Atunde Akum (2nd Team) as All-East Coast Conference selections.
Thompson came to UDC from Lees McRae College (Banner Elk, North Carolina), where he led the Bobcats to a 13-5-3 record, winning the 2010 Conference Carolinas Regular Season and Conference Tournament Championships as well as a 2010 NCAA Championship berth. A 1998 graduate of Slippery Rock University, he served his alma mater as head men’s soccer coach from 2002-2009. Prior to Slippery Rock, Thompson was an assistant coach for three years at NCAA DI Robert Morris University.
Among Thompson’s career highlights:
- · Named PSAC Coach of the Year in 2005, 2008 and 2009
- · Achieving most wins in school history at Slippery Rock in 2009 (18 wins)
- · Leading Slippery Rock to three NCAA Championship appearances
- · Reaching the Sweet 16 in 2008 and 2009
- · Winning the PSAC Championship in 2005 and 2009
- · Coached four NCAA All-Americans and two current professional players
As a student-athlete, Thompson was a two-time PSAC All-Conference selection, a three-time Western Pennsylvania All-Star, two-time team captain at Slippery Rock and was named the team's most valuable player in 1997.
Thompson has been extremely active in community engagement. He founded SRU Forgotten Angels, a student-athlete charity aimed at improving the quality of underprivileged children's lives around the world. He led a missionary trip to Haiti in the summer of 2008 and volunteered in New Orleans during the summer of 2009, painting houses and coaching children after Hurricane Katrina. Thompson also guided a group of student-athletes to St. Lucia in 2010 as part of the Forgotten Angels project, and was involved in Special Olympics of Pennsylvania while at SRU.
He and his wife Danielle are proud parents of two sons, Liam and Joshua.