Head Women's Basketball Coach
Alma Mater: Pittsburg State (KS) '04
Experience: Seventh Season at Pratt
Coach Thompson begins her seventh season at the helm of the Beavers. The 2013-2014 season was the most successful season in 25 years finishing the season 20-11 and producing a First Team All-American for the first time in the program's history in Tatiana Grant. Along with success on the court, the Beavers have also excelled in the classroom achieving the highest GPA (3.51) among basketball programs in the KJCCC. The Beavers look to continue the recent success in 2015 with two returning players and a great freshman recruiting class.
In her previous three seasons Thompson has produced one Academic All-American, two all conference players, and three players have been named to the All-Academic team. The 2010-2011 team posted a team GPA of 3.22 which ranked seventh on the Region 6 academic list. A native of Pratt, Thompson began her coaching career at Skyline High School in 2005. She guided the Lady Thunderbirds to three winning season with an overall record of 48-18. The Lady Thunderbirds won a share of the HOPL title in 2006, and Thompson was named Hutchinson News 1A coach of the year.
A graduate of Pratt High School in 2000, Thompson was a member of the fourth place state team her junior season. Coach Thompson was a three year All-MSAA and All-State player and was selected as 4A state player of the year her senior year. Thompson currently holds numerous Pratt High basketball records.
Thompson went on to play collegiately at Cowley County Community College and Pittsburg State University. During her time at Cowley, Thompson was selected second team All Jay-hawk East her freshman and sophomore seasons. She was named Defensive player of the year in 2001 and received Sophomore Athlete of the year in 2002. She also earned Academic All-American status her sophomore year at Cowley.
After graduating from Cowley, Thompson went on to play at Pittsburg State University and was named to the MIAA all league team her junior season. Thompson was selected team captain her sophomore and senior year. She was awarded the 2004 PSU Outstanding Senior Athlete Award in 2004. Coach Thompson graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science degree from Pittsburg State University. She married Pratt Community College baseball coach Eric Thompson in September of 2011.
Assistant Women's Basketball Coach
Jay Valerius is entering his first season with the PCC women’s basketball team. Valerius graduated from Washburn Rural High School in Topeka, Kan. in 2007, where he played basketball and baseball. After graduation, Valerius accepted a scholarship to play baseball at Seward County Community College.
In January of 2009 after having shoulder surgery, Valerius transferred to Pratt Community College where he resumed his basketball playing career. After receiving his associates from PCC, Valerius then accepted a scholarship to play basketball at St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Okla. Valerius finished his career at St. Gregory’s by earning a history degree, and eventually making it back to PCC.
Coach Valerius comes from a family of coaches: His father; Scott Valerius, coached for over 30 years in Kansas and Oklahoma at both the high school and cCollege level. Jay has a brother, Bud Valerius, who is currently the head men’s coach at Blackwell High School in Blackwell, Okla., and a sister, LeAnne. His parents, Scott and Carol, reside in Oklahoma.