Thompson added to UNT Hall of Fame

By Jay Hinton
Glen Rose Reporter

GLEN ROSE — Former Glen Rose quarterback Derek Thompson, along with his 14 top-10 records in University of North Texas football history, entered the Mean Green Hall of Fame last week.

Thompson, who graduated from Glen Rose High School in 2010, was a 2020 inductee, but because of the pandemic, the official ceremony wasn’t held until October 2021.

He is part of the 2020 class that includes Jackie Kerestine (soccer); Johnny Mata (football); Katya Muller-Winslow (softball); Tina Slinker (women’s basketball coach); and Tristan Thompson (men’s basketball).

Derek Thompson, far right, joined the UNT Athletics Hall of Fame with from left, Tina Slinker (women’s basketball coach), Jackie Kerestine (soccer), Katya Muller-Winslow (softball) and Tristan Thompson (men’s basketball).

“It's obviously a huge honor to even be nominated for the hall of fame let alone being selected by the committee,” Thompson said. “Having my name in the same conversation as someone like Mean Joe Greene and several prestigious players is a dream come true. Representing not only myself and my family, I wanted everyone to know that a small-town kid from Glen Rose, Texas, had achieved his ultimate dream.”

Thompson spent five seasons in Denton, and started every game in his final three seasons, culminating with a Heart of Dallas Bowl victory over UNLV where he was named the MVP. The Mean Green finished the season 9-4, their best record since 2003 when they went 9-4 and won Conference-USA.

His sophomore and junior seasons, to his admission, were rough.

“For much of my playing career especially early on, we really struggled in terms of wins and losses,” he said. “I had to overcome several injuries and adversity.”

The team won just nine games in those two seasons combined, but in 2013, the team turned it around.

Derek Thompson was joined with former Glen Rose High football coach Tommy Dunn at Thompson’s induction ceremony earlier this month.

“We had a very senior-heavy class in 2013 and decided to focus on the important aspects of the game,” he said. “This was capped off with a bowl victory in the Heart of Dallas Bowl in front of a nationally televised crowd. It was the perfect ending to my career. I wouldn't change it for the world.”

In the 36-14 win over UNLV, he completed 21 of 30 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.

In UNT annals, Thompson is in the top 10 in six career categories: passing attempts (3rd, 1,055); completions (3rd, 6,360; passing yards (3rd 7,447); passing efficiency (5th 126.27); touchdown passes (5th, 42); and completion percentage (5th, 60.3%).

Former Glen Rose quarterback Derek Thompson was a three-year starter at the University of North Texas.

He also ranks in top-10 in eight single-season offensive categories.

Former Glen Rose HS football coach Tommy Dunn, who Thompson considers a mentor, joined Thompson at the induction ceremony.

“Coach Dunn was the first coach I had that made me truly fall in love with the game. He coached me harder than anyone else and I respected that,” Thompson said. “He knew that I was a good player, but he never let me get complacent in where I was.

“I can't take credit for any accolades in my career without mentioning his name first. Seeing Coach Dunn at the ceremony meant the world to me. He's a huge reason I got into coaching,” he said.

Thompson graduated from UNT with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and master’s degree sports management, and he is currently the offensive coordinator and associate head coach at Bridgeport High School. He and his wife Mandy have two sons, Greyson and Jett.

During his career at Glen Rose, Thompson led the Tigers to the playoffs three straight seasons, including four rounds deep in 2008. He was the District 7-3A Offensive Player of the Year (2008); District 12-3A MVP (2007); and District 12-3A Newcomer of the Year (2006).

He is the Tiger school-record holder in career passing yards (7,878); completions in a season (231); and career completions (563).