Cody Tompkins has proven himself as a capable coach. In his first season as a junior varsity and junior high boys basketball coach in Washburn, Maine he earned plaudits for his professionalism and constant positive reinforcement.
He was a clear additive presence, which made him a likely candidate for head coaching job opportunities when they came open in Spring 2013. When he received one of those offers -- to lead the Hogdon (Me.) High girls basketball program -- his appointment was met with equal doses of excitement and skepticism.
As it turns out, there is a compelling reason why Tompkins was a surprise selection, leading to that skepticism: He is just 19 years old.
As reported by the Bangor Daily News, in the 2013-14 school year, Tompkins will be coaching the Hogdon girls basketball team while also taking classes as a sophomore at the University of Main-Presque Isle. Some of his players will be within a year of his age (if not the same age), yet he will still be charged with inspiring and instructing a squad which finished the 2012-13 season with a 16-5 record and reached the Eastern Maine Class D semifinal round of the state playoffs.
While Hogdon's recent success and Tompkins' age relative to his charges could be an impediment to building a consistent program, the relatively recent high school grad insists that he will be able to build on the team's recent success, just as his own high school coach's age (Tompkins played for a then 19-year-old Dillon Kingsbury) did little to slow down the Easton (Me.) High boys basketball program.
“I think the important part is to establish from day one that you are the coach, they are the players and that they understand that type of relationship,” Tompkins told the Bangor Daily News.
I was really impressed by the community and all of the support from the administration as well as [Hogdon Athletic Director Wayne] Quint, they’ve all been great in this process and its made the transition from Washburn to Hodgdon very easy for me.”
Now only time will tell if Tompkins can be as successful on the court as his vision proved persuasive off it. At 19, he should have plenty of time to prove he can be the next big thing in prep basketball coaching.