HAYS, Kan. - Fort Hays State head wrestling coach Chas Thompson announced he is resigning from his head wrestling coach position at Fort Hays State University. Thompson led the program for 12 years from 2008-2020.
"I want to thank Fort Hays State University and the Athletic Department for all of the opportunities given to me in my tenure in Hays," said Thompson. "I have many fond memories here. I will truly miss my FHSU Wrestling family, and I look forward to seeing them reach their goals. While this has been a very hard decision for me, with all this uncertainty due to COVID-19, I am looking into opportunities to get back closer to family."
"We'd like to thank Chas for his efforts as our head wrestling coach over the years," said FHSU Athletic Director Curtis Hammeke. "We wish him and his family the best in their future endeavors."
Most recently in 2019-20, Thompson coached the Tigers to a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Super Region 4 Championships. Five of his wrestlers qualified for the NCAA Championships, which unfortunately were canceled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. It matched the most national qualifiers for FHSU since 2014, while two of the five received All-America honors based on voting by the NWCA.
In his 12 years leading the program, Thompson guided the Tigers to a dual mark of 91-77-1. He is the career dual wins leader among coaches in FHSU history, and the longest-tenured coach in the program's history.
Thompson coached 12 individuals to 17 All-America finishes. During the most recent season of 2019-20, Brandon Ball became the most decorated individual under Thompson's guidance, earning the third All-America honor of his career. Three other individuals under Thompson's guidance earned All-America honors twice. Ball also finished as the all-time leader in win percentage for the program's history with a record of 130-22 (.855). Jon Inman (2017 - 197 pounds, who previously owned the program's highest individual win percentage, and Tommy Edgmon (2009 - 125 pounds) claimed the highest national finishes among Thompson's wrestlers, both finishing second.
Fort Hays State was in the NWCA national team rankings multiple times during Thompson's tenure. A 12th-place finish at the NCAA Championships was the highest for the program under Thompson, accomplished twice (2010 and 2017).
Thompson's 2009-10 team posted a 12-5 record, the most dual wins in a season for the program in 45 years. The 12 wins were the second most for a season in school history. Then as members of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in wrestling, FHSU finished 8-1 in conference duals, placing second. It was the highest conference finish the program had under Thompson. The Tigers also set a school record for most consecutive dual wins that season with 10.
Prior to his 12-year head coaching stint at FHSU, Thompson was head coach for two years at Pratt (Kan.) Community College. Outside of his time at Pratt, Thompson has been part of the Tiger wrestling program for nearly two decades, wrestling from 1999-2002 before serving as an assistant coach from 2002-2005. He earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees at Fort Hays State. He came to FHSU after wrestling at Labette Community College for his father Jody Thompson, a member of multiple wrestling halls of fame.
A national search for a new head coach will begin immediately.