EJHS Coach Erinn Thompson remembered

Published 6:11 pm Tuesday, January 4, 2022

East Jessamine coach Erinn Thompson was a role model who left behind a legacy of caring and compassion for the Jaguars’ community.

Thompson, 47, passed away Thursday (Dec. 30) in the hospital after a battle with COVID. His funeral was Tuesday at Southland Christian Church.

Thompson served as head coach for the school’s baseball between 2015 and 2021 as well as coaching golf in the past. He was also a loving husband, caring father, and ultimately someone who left a profound impact on kids throughout Jessamine County.

“Everybody that played for him is going to miss him. I’ve been with playing on his (Youth League) baseball teams since I was 4-years-old,” said Gage Sandlin, a Jaguars’ junior who plays first base and pitcher. “He was one of the biggest mentors in my life. He was always around and to lose somebody like that just kind of makes you feel that a part of you is gone. He taught discipline but at the same time, he also taught us life lessons and skills. I think I am a better player and person because of Coach Thompson.”

Just about two weeks ago on Dec. 23, the community came together to pray for the coach’s recovery at a vigil on the East Jessamine baseball field. Players and faculty from West Jessamine were in attendance supporting their East Jessamine counterparts.

“Erinn was such an important part of our community,” lamented Chris Hawboldt, East Jessamine High principal. “He was also a family man and someone who invested a lot in not just East Jessamine baseball players, but also youth across our county.”

Hawboldt said Thompson put everything he had into his players. He wanted students to know “they had his support and that they knew he cared about them and that they were ready for whatever was the next step,” as Hawbodlt puts it.

Sandlin described Thompson as a mentor, a role model to all and loving father who never missed any of his kids’ games.

“Coach was loud and intense coach, but he was a great father to everyone and treated everyone like we were his kids,” he said. “His ‘real’ kids — he was always there for them. He showed up to every game and you could always find him watching them play.”

Season ahead will be played with more spirit not only to honor the coach’s memory, but to show support for his son Nicho, also a member of the Jaguars’ baseball team.

“Pretty much with it being his son’s Nicho junior year, everybody is going to try just as hard as they can for Coach Thompson — make this season great more than ever,” he said.

Jessamine County Superintendent Matt Moore praised Thompson’s dedication to EJHS.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of EJHS Baseball and Boys Golf Coach Erinn Thompson. Erinn’s dedication to the young people that he coached was evident and he made a positive impact on many EJHS student athletes, both on and off the field. Our Jaguar family has wrapped their arms around Erinn’s wife Kristy and sons, Andrew, Ben, Cam and Niko, surrounding them as well as our EJHS students with love and support. Erinn will be greatly missed and our thoughts and prayers continue to be with his family and loved ones during this difficult time.”

East Jessamine High School posted this tribute to Thompson on Facebook:

To our Jaguar Family, Our hearts are broken as we share the news that we have lost our beloved Coach Erinn Thompson. He fought every inning but lost the battle. We are deeply saddened by this loss and are keeping Kristy, Andrew, Ben, Cam and Nicho close in our thoughts and prayers. His impact extends far beyond the baseball fields or golf course. The lives he touched are forever changed because of the perseverance and determination he instilled among our students and community… You fought the good fight, Coach. We love you and will forever miss you.

According to East Jessamine Jaguars Football Facebook page, “Jag football family — Please keep the Thompson family in your prayers. Our baseball Coach Erinn Thompson passed away last night after a hard fought battle. Lord, we ask that you wrap your arms around his family, friends and players and comfort them.”