East County Sports

Thompson passes, was Helix assistant

2021 PREP FOOTBALL

By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

MIRA MESA —- A former East County football coach has died, just a week after his Mira Mesa Marauder team had an exciting victory over San Marcos.

Chris Thompson, the popular fourth-year head coach at Mira Mesa, reportedly died on Friday night. Official details on his passing were still pending.

The Marauders were scheduled to play Otay Ranch on Friday but the game was canceled early in the week due to COVID protocols within the Mira Mesa program.

Thompson was a 53-year old cancer survivor who once served as an assistant with the Helix Highlanders (2017), winning a section title, after leading the team as head coach at Bonita Vista, where the Barons won a section title under “Thompy” in 2015.

However, when the position at Mira Mesa opened, he resigned from the Barons to take the position with his high school alma mater (Class of ’86).

Starting as a junior varsity assistant at Mira Mesa, Thompson eventually climbed the ladder to become Marauders offensive coordinator under legendary head coach Brad Griffith.

When Griffith retired in 1986, Thompson because Mira Mesa’s co-head coach, a position he would hold for 14 seasons, giving him 22 overall seasons in his first stint at the school.

Thompson later served as an assistant at Helix, Vista, and Poway.

At Vista, ironically, “I would experience the most bittersweet moment in my coaching career… I won my first CIF championship, but it was against my beloved Marauders,” he said in an online biography.”

At Bonita Vista, he posted the best season in school history, going 12-3 in 2015. In four seasons, he posted a misleading 25-25 record, turning his first club that went 3-8 into a CIF champion just two years later.

Then the Mira Mesa job became available.

“This is my dream job,” Thompson told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “This was the job I always wanted. It’s my alma mater. I grew up hear. I always wanted to be a Marauder.”

Thompson succeeded Gary Blevins, who retired after 23 seasons.

Amazingly, the Marauders have only had three head football coaches, and all of them were widely respected, admired, and successful.

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