Jeannie Thompson (left) talks with Kristi Kingma during a Jackson High School practice in 2007. Thompson was hired as the head girls basketball coach at Everett this week. (Herald file)

Jeannie Thompson (left) talks with Kristi Kingma during a Jackson High School practice in 2007. Thompson was hired as the head girls basketball coach at Everett this week. (Herald file)

Everett hires new girls basketball coach

Jeannie Thompson, a 1998 Everett graduate and former Jackson coach, takes over for Luther Weathersby.

Jeannie Thompson has been hired as the new girls basketball coach at Everett High School.

Thompson, a 1998 graduate of Everett, takes over a Seagulls squad that posted a 9-11 record (4-9 Wesco 3A/2A) and made it to a Class 3A Northwest District tournament play-in game last season. She was Everett’s junior-varsity coach last season and teaches at Sequoia High School.

“Everett High is a very unique and special place,” Thompson said. “It has all the traditions and community support that you would want in your local high school, and to come back and see those traditions still going strong 20 years later, it was an amazing experience last year.”

Thompson takes over for Luther Weathersby, who guided the Seagulls to a 24-60 record over four seasons. Weathersby left the team due to health concerns, according to Everett School District athletics director Robert Polk.

“He built a wonderful foundation here with this group of kids,” Thompson said.

Last season was Thompson’s first back at her alma mater, where she started her coaching career as the C-team coach while doing her student-teaching at Everett during the 2002-03 school year. She hopes that a year of familiarity with the players will help lead to a smooth transition.

“The girls are a wonderful group of young ladies. They have really good family support and they’re hard workers,” Thompson said. “There’s some special talent there. It’s a pretty fortunate situation for me to be coming into. I’m just excited to work with them.”

Thompson has already had plenty of success as varsity basketball coach in the Everett School District. After her finishing her student teaching at Everett, Thompson was hired as a teacher and girls varsity basketball coach at Jackson prior to the 2003-2004 school year. She led the Timberwolves to five state-tournament appearances over 10 seasons, including eighth- and fourth-place finishes in 2006 and 2012, respectively. Jackson hadn’t made a state tournament before Thompson took over the program and hasn’t since she left.

Thompson took time away from coaching after the 2012-13 season to focus on her family and spend time with her newborn son.

“Being a coach requires a lot of time, a lot of energy and at that point I was ready to take a step back and just kind of have a new focus in life for a while,” she said.

Thompson said she got back into coaching last season to spend time with her nieces who are in, or will soon be in, the Seagulls’ program. She said returning to her alma mater was also part of the lure.

Thompson’s brother, Bobby, is the boys varsity basketball coach at Everett. His hiring was announced in April.

“It’s definitely a unique moment,” she said. “I’m sure it probably doesn’t happen too often. I know we’re both excited.”

Jeannie Thompson played basketball at Everett all four years for Jo Levin before playing at The College of Idaho for four seasons. She said Levin inspired her to become a coach and played a pivotal role in helping her land the job at Jackson in 2004.

This season, Jeannie Thompson hopes to keep developing a Seagulls program that fell just short of its first .500 campaign since 2014 last season.

“It’s a talented group of young ladies, but they’re still young,” she said. “My biggest focus going in is to help teach some fundamentals, provide some structure and hopefully create a fun family environment for them and teach them the hard-work you have to put in to get something like an amazing experience out of it.”

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