June 4th, 2015

Hyland's Heroes: George Thompson

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

Hyland's Heroes: George Thompson
Thompson works for the CSAA

The following feature is a part of a bi-weekly series, sponsored by Hyland Insurance. "Hyland's Heroes" is a series of profiles that spotlight Louisville area Catholic volunteers, coaches and administrators who assist athletic programs and teams, and help promote excellence in all aspects of sports.

Know someone that you think should be featured as the next "Hyland's Hero”? Send your recommendation to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.

George Thompson is the financial director of the CSAA and has been a Catholic his entire life.  George has been married to his wife Connie for 45 years and the couple has three children and seven grandchildren.

His children attended St. Barnabas, St. Xavier, and Assumption. His grandchildren attend Notre Dame and St Raphael. All have been involved in sports throughout their lives.

When and how did you get your start with the CSAA? Why so?

I started coaching when my son was five. He wanted to play soccer at the Y so I signed him up and volunteered to help with the team. My job required me to travel and when I returned from a trip the Y informed me that I had ten players on my team and that the first game was Saturday. I have never played soccer so I had to take a trip to the library.

Little did I know that at that time soccer for five year olds was a game of follow the ball. As my children grew up so did the demand of playing sports, so I started volunteering for various teams. Coaching became part of our life. Track was one of my favorite and one year Jim Frame from the CSAA asked if I would be interested in being the track director for the CSAA. Later, I was also elected to the CSAA Board of Directors.

Who asked you to contribute or what got you involved?

My first involvement was the Family Y asking me to coach and then the Backers Organization at St. Barnabas asking for volunteers. Jim Frame, Executive of Directive of the CSAA at the time, was the one who got me involved in the CSAA Sports leadership.

What sports are you involved in and for how long?

My coaching started in soccer but that was short term, I did not have the experience to teach the kids how to develop soccer skills. I have coached track, football, t-ball, and cross country over the last thirty years. I have helped with other sports, and was the finance director for the St Barnabas Backers Organization.

What's the connection with your faith and giving your time to young student athletes?

It is amazing when you think of the number of people who volunteer and give their time to help out on the field, in the school and the church programs. I feel one of the reason people help is based on our faith which ask us to give of ourselves in appreciation of all the blessings that have been given to us. 

Who was the most influential person on your volunteer role? Why?

I think that would have to be my family starting with my mom and dad. With eight kids, mom and dad had their hands full but were always willing to help others when they could. I feel they passed this type of compassion on to all of my brothers and sisters.

What are your major themes/principles as a volunteer?

Work with the kids at their level; treat them as an individual person and try to do what they need at that moment. Build their confidence and their willingness to learn. It is amazing what they can do, if we let them.

What does/did your athletic role at the school bring to you, your family?

Over the years we have developed many friendships and wonderful experiences which grew out of our participation in the athletic program. We have been able to contribute to a faithful community and now I see my children doing the same type of things – growing their relationships and developing their children.

What are the fondest experiences or memories you have as a volunteer?

There are so many throughout the years it is difficult to summarize those experiences. To see not only your children, but those you have coached and mentored to grow over time and then meet their kids gives you a joyful feeling that something was done right.



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