Paul Thomson is in his third season leading the Drake women's tennis program after serving five years (2005-10) as head men's and women's coach at Brevard College in Brevard, N.C.
Named head women's tennis coach at Drake on Aug. 25, 2010, Thomson led the Bulldogs to a 13-10 mark during his inaugural campaign, including a 4-3 third-place finish in the Missouri Valley Conference and Drake's first winning record since 2006.
During his rookie season guiding the Bulldogs, he mentored then freshman Klavdija Rebol, who became Drake's initial first team All-MVC performer since 2005, garnering all-league accolades at the No. 3 singles position. Sophomore Manca Krizman was also honored for her play on the court, being named to the All-Select squad by the MVC coaches.
Off the court, junior Gabriela Demos was honored for the second-consecutive year as a first team MVC Scholar-Athlete selection.
This past season, Thomson led the Bulldogs to a record-setting 22-7 ledger, en route to a 5-2 second-place finish in the MVC. The 22 victories established a school record for wins and allowed Drake to surpass the 20-victory plateau for only the second time in school history.
The Bulldogs captured their initial postseason triumph since 2006 when Drake advanced to the State Farm MVC Championship semifinals with a 4-1 victory over Northern Iowa.
Five players earned 20 or more singles wins, sparked by Krizman, who posted a team-best 31-5 singles record, which included a 25-match winning streak. Every single Bulldog registered a winning singles' record, while all but one Drake player matched the feat in doubles, led by 27 wins courtesy of Demos.
Pulling in MVC All-Select team honors were Krizman and Rebol, while Demos was named to the All-MVC Scholar Athlete first team for the third-consecutive campaign. Collecting honorable mention All-MVC Scholar-Athlete accolades was Krizman.
Drake's senior class of Amanda Aragon, Jessica Aguilera, Demos, Krizman and Earlynn Lauer made its mark on the Bulldogs' program. Demos finished first in school history (since 2006-07) in combined career victories (139), while ranking third in school history (since 1990-91) in career doubles wins (74). Krizman is third in school history (since 2006-07) in combined career victories (126), while Aguilera is rated fourth (120).
"Paul Thomson joined the Drake family with proven experience as a head coach, teacher and mentor for our student-athletes," commented former Drake associate athletics director Heather Weems, who chaired the search committee. "He has demonstrated ability in program development, and has the drive and passion to advance our women's tennis program. We look forward to his leadership and vision in the years to come."
During the 2009-10 campaign, both of Thomson's squads reached the semifinals of the South Atlantic Conference Tournament, with his women's unit registering a 14-6 mark, the Tornados' third consecutive winning season.
The men's and women's programs grew by leaps and bounds under Thomson as the Tornados made the transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II and the SAC beginning during the 2008-09 academic year.
In five seasons directing the women's program, Thomson owned a 56-52 overall ledger.
Since joining the SAC in 2008-09, 27 of his student-athletes were honored on the league's academic honor roll, including 15 on his women's team. In 2010 one of his ladies received the ITA Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award for the Southeast Region.
In 2009-2010, the Tornados finished 14-6 overall and 5-3 in conference play on their way to earning the fourth-seed in the 2010 SAC tournament. The Tornados reached the semifinals in the tournament before being knocked out by eventual champion Lincoln Memorial University.
In 2008-2009, during their first season as members of the SAC, the women's team went 17-6 and 5-3 in conference play en route to a berth in the conference finals against Carson-Newman, before falling in the championship match, 5-2. Thomson was rewarded for his coaching efforts, being named the 2009 SAC Women's Tennis Coach of the Year and Brevard College Coach of the Year.
In 2007-08, the BC Tennis program competed as provisional members of both the NCAA Division II and in the SAC, allowing his squad to play a full SAC schedule. The women's program finished the season with a 14-8 record, including two separate five-match winning streaks. The men's team overcame a number of obstacles to wrap the year with a 9-11 overall record.
In his second season and BC's first season as NCAA Division II members in 2006-07, the men's team finished with a 10-13 record, while the women turned in a record of 7-15.
In his first year he took the men's team to a 10-12 record, 4-3 in the conference, and a No. 4 regional ranking. A huge improvement from the 4-9 and 3-7 conference marks from the year before. The women finished 5 -17 in their first full year of competition after the program was reinstated as a varsity sport.
A native of Birmingham, Ala., Thomson is a 1995 graduate of Samford University where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in history and political science. Thomson continued his education at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, earning his Class B teaching certification in secondary education, specializing in social sciences.
He came to Brevard from his alma mater, Samford, where he served as the graduate assistant men's and women's coach.
Thomson is a certified Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) instructor. His background includes teaching and coaching at the club, high school, collegiate and ITF levels.