Georgetown University baseball coach Edwin Thompson looks on during a game against St. John’s last month in Washington, D.C. Photo provided by Georgetown University/Rafael Suanes

It wasn’t just the potential for immediate playing time that convinced Tyler Hanson to join the University of Maine at Farmington baseball team in 2006, although it was part of the sales pitch from assistant coach Edwin Thompson. More important, Hanson recalled, was Thompson’s enthusiasm, his joie de baseball. That’s what captivated Hanson, who at the time was a senior at Sanford High School. The passion for baseball exhibited by Thompson and UMF head coach Dick Meader was contagious and set Hanson off on a career in the game.

“Just (Thompson’s) energy,” Hanson said. “Every time we spoke on the phone or I saw him, he had so much energy.”

Baseball has taken Thompson and Hanson far from Farmington and far from Maine. Thompson is now the head baseball coach at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.  Hanson is now an assistant coach at Virginia Tech.

The old friends will face off Wednesday night, when Georgetown plays at Virginia Tech in a nonconference game.

“It’s a pretty cool matchup. I wanted our kids, in a short season, to play against a top 30 program (Virginia Tech has been ranked in the d1baseball.com poll this spring). They’re having great success and (Hanson) is a big part of it,” said Thompson, a Jay native. “We’ll take all the pictures before the game so we’re all happy.”

By the time Hanson was completing his playing career at UMF in 2009 as the team’s starting catcher, Thompson had moved on to coach at Bates College. As his playing career was winding down, Hanson knew he wanted to stay in the game as a coach.

“The passion and love I saw Coach Meader and Coach Thompson had for the game inspired me,” Hanson said.

Thompson brought Hanson to Bates as an assistant baseball and football coach.

Virginia Tech assistant baseball coach Tyler Hanson, who played at the University of Maine at Farmington, throws a ball before a game earlier this season in Blacksburg, Virginia. Photo provided by Virginia Tech athletics

“He was a quarterback in high school, a point guard, the whole deal. He had leadership qualities,” Thompson said. “Guys gravitated toward him. He was a student of the game.”

“When I got into coaching, I didn’t know a whole lot. Teaching (baseball) to players and finding ways to connect with them, I had no idea,” Hanson added. “(Thompson) kind of taught me, you have to teach these players more than baseball.”

After two seasons at Bates, Thompson moved took an assistant coaching job at Duke in Durham, North Carolina. When another position on the coaching staff opened, Thompson recommended Hanson, and the two reunited for the 2011 season with the Blue Devils. Hanson later moved across Durham to coach at North Carolina Central.

Thompson went from Duke to Georgia State, where he coached for three seasons before becoming head coach at Eastern Kentucky in 2016. Thompson knew there was a place on his coaching staff for Hanson.

“When I got the job at Eastern Kentucky, he was the first person I called,” Thompson said.

Georgetown University baseball coach Edwin Thompson talks to an umpire during a game against Virginia Commonwealth University last month in Washington, D.C. Photo provided by Georgetown University/Rafael Suanes

Hanson stayed with Thompson at Eastern Kentucky through the 2018 season, before moving on to Virginia Tech. Georgetown hired Thompson last fall. Hanson has been a college baseball coach for 10 season, including five with Thompson. When he thinks of what he learned from Thompson, Hanson cited “work ethic.”

“You have to put in the work and time, and Coach Thompson does that,” Hanson said.

Thompson is happy to see Hanson carving a successful coaching career.

“I’m proud of him. I’m proud to help grow the game of baseball any way I can, like coach Meader did for me,” Thompson said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

 


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