NORMAN — For Frank Thompson, it ends where it all began.
The longtime athletics director for the Norman Public School district announced this week that he will retire at the end of June, wrapping up a more than 40-year career in education. And he’ll walk away from Norman, the same town where he got his start all those years ago.
“It’s great to finish my career in my hometown,” he said. “I got the opportunity nine years ago to come home to where I grew up. The people in the school district have been great to work for and with, and I’ll put our school board up to any that I’ve been around. I’ve done my thing and now it’s time for me to relax.”
Thompson’s “thing” is an impressive tour around Oklahoma, with stops across the state and a history of leaving programs better than when he arrived. He got his start coaching in Hobart in 1975 and also spent time in Ardmore, Marietta and Okemah. He coached a number of sports including football, baseball and basketball, and also served in administrative roles.
He moved back to Norman nine years ago to take over as athletics director, and the districts schools have flourished in that time. There have been multiple state championships at both Norman High and Norman North, and the Timberwolves made school history two years ago by competing in the Class 6A football state title game.
Thompson was on hand to watch that game, played at his alma mater of Oklahoma State. The former baseball player played two years for OSU before moving into a graduate assistant role while completing his degrees.
Things came full circle when he got the chance to move back to Norman, and he said he wants to go out on a high note.