It's official-new head coach at Salem

The Salem School Board hired a new football coach at Monday’s meeting when they agreed to remove the interim tag off of Blair Thompson’s title.

Thompson is no longer interim head coach and just sports the title of Salem Head Coach. He thanked the board for their trust and the opportunity and said the position is truly the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.

“I just want to thank the board for the faith that you had in me this season,” he said. “It was a unique season. Everyone knows what this job means to me. I remember dreaming of this since I was 12. Then I got it and with COVID we weren’t sure we were even going to get to play a game!” 

Salem not only played, but just missed winning a Mid Southern Conference championship and a sectional championship by one game and had arguably the best season in more than two decades. 

“We accomplished some things this year that Salem football hadn’t done in a long time,” Thompson said. “We know now where the bar is set and our plan is to get Salem back to playing championship level football.

“We have 21 seniors coming back, so the opportunity is there and we are excited about that.” 

Besides the success on the field, Thompson and the Lions were successful in other areas, as well. They were successful in the classroom, but also in dealing with the pandemic with zero reported cases within the football program throughout the entire season. 

Thompson said that was because of the work done by Salem Athletic Director Hank Weedin, trainer Mallory Myers, the players and all the coaches. 

“It’s kind of hard getting and keeping 62 boys doing what they are supposed to be doing,” Thompson said, “but they knew and they bought in. We were blessed to be able to do it and play the game we love.” 

At the end of the meeting it has become a custom for board members and administrators to share positive points and Superintendent Jon Acton shared one of his with Thompson.

“You said this board made one of your dreams come true by naming you head coach,” Acton said. “Now you have the opportunity to go help make some other young men’s dreams come true! We wish you the best and we are all rooting for you!” 

Thompson said the plan is to begin the off-season weight program after winter break, but much of that will depend on whether or not students are in school.


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