Thompson’s Kevin Todd named Coach of the Year following special 2023 season

Published 5:05 pm Thursday, June 8, 2023

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

Putting together special seasons is one thing, but sustaining success is a completely different story, and Thompson softball head coach Kevin Todd has done just that.

Following a state championship in 2022, Todd led the Warriors right back to this year’s final day at the Class 7A State Tournament.

Thompson ultimately fell short of defending their state championship, but as one of two coaches to make a state tournament this year and the only one to lead his team to the final four on the final day of the season, Todd did more than enough to earn this year’s Coach of the Year award.

It marks the second year in a row Todd has won the award outright, while he has at least shared the award in each of the last three seasons with a remarkable and consistent stretch at the helm.

This season, Thompson put together a 37-15 record overall, while Todd has led the Warriors to a combined record of 122-42-1 over the last three years to help Thompson reach the state tournament each year.

It was that standard Todd referenced after this year’s loss to finish just shy of a state championship appearance on the final day of the state tournament.

“Being the standard, we want people to look at this program in more ways than just softball,” head coach Kevin Todd said after the season-ending loss. “We talk about everyday life, be the standard—be the standard in the classroom, be the standard at church, in the community and on the softball field. Being the standard is just being that person that nobody is going to outwork, we’re going to keep praising God and putting Him in our program, and that’s going to be our standard, and that’s what it stands for.”

Two other coaches challenged Todd for this year’s Coach of the Year award with Helena’s Scott Lowery leading the Huskies back to the state tournament in Class 6A for the second year in a row after last year’s trip to the finals and Spain Park’s Allyson Ritenour leading the Jaguars to a 33-15 record and a spot at regionals out of a challenging area.

This year’s Thompson team, however, was one of the strongest and most consistent in the state this season regardless of classification.

The Warriors had two pitchers in Chalea Clemmons and Aubree Hooks who were dominant in the circle, combining for 215 strikeout and 23 wins, while four different players were among the best hitters in the county.

Those players and Todd helped Thompson get through an area where all four teams were inside the top 10 of the 7A standings all season and then through a challenging regional that featured every team ranked inside the top 10.

“Start with our area, so tough, and regionals, so tough. It’s just been a battle for the last month,” Todd said after the loss in the state tournament. “Like I told our players last night, people don’t know what kind of fight and heart they have. They have it. They’re special. They’re special to me. I treat them like my own and I just love them.”