CLEVELAND — The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) announced the Association’s Hall of Fame Class of 2023. The list of inductees includes: Jim Abbott, Oklahoma City University; Art Becker, Scottsdale Community College; Bob Bowlsby, Stanford University; Bob Driscoll, Providence College; Carl Heinrich, Johnson County Community College; Marilyn McNeil, Monmouth University; Lynn Thompson, Bethune-Cookman University; and Perk Weisenburger, Ferris State University. The group of deserving individuals will be honored in conjunction with the 58th Annual NACDA & Affiliates Convention at the World Center Marriott Resort in Orlando, Fla., at the beginning of the Association-Wide Featured Session on Monday, June 12, starting at 4 p.m.
Lynn Thompson retired as vice president for intercollegiate athletics at Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) in 2021 after 30 years at the university.
Thompson’s lengthy and impressive resume at B-CU included serving as the first African American to chair the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee and as a member on the NCAA Division I-AA Football Committee and the NCAA Football Issues Committees, creating policy for intercollegiate athletics on a national level. He also served the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) as chairman of the MEAC Basketball, Softball, Track and Field and Baseball Tournaments, and was selected five times as an NCAA Peer Reviewer for the athletics certification process.
Thompson served on the NCAA Committee on Academics, overseeing the academic standards of intercollegiate athletics, the recent NCAA APR 2.0 Task Force, and is a Board member of the Florida Sports Foundation.
A former football student-athlete at Bethune-Cookman, Thompson earned his bachelor’s degree in 1980. He added a master’s degree from Clark Atlanta in 1984. In 1991, Thompson was named director of athletics at B-CU, and in 2015 he was elevated to the position of vice president for intercollegiate athletics.
The longest-tenured director of athletics in NCAA Division I at the time of his departure from Daytona Beach, Thompson led the Wildcats to a combined 71 championships – 54 of which were in the MEAC – and spearheaded the launch of the CatEye Network. He was recognized as an Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year (ADOY) by NACDA in 2019-20.
In addition to his career in athletics administration, Thompson has written, hosted and produced various television and radio shows throughout the mid-Florida region highlighting Bethune-Cookman athletics. He was inducted into the MEAC Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2016.
Thompson joined the MEAC staff as senior advisor in January 2021. In this role, he researches strategic objectives with the commissioner and conference leadership team, serves as co-liaison to the Strategic & Long-Range Planning Committee, provides guidance and assistance to the Strategic Communications, External Affairs, and Corporate Partnerships departments and assists with the further development of the MEAC Digital Network. He recently served as co-writer and narrator of the recent Los Angeles Rams short film/documentary called Kingfish: The Story of Kenny Washington, the saga of the NFL’s first black player to re-integrate the National Football League (NFL) in 1946, which premiered in February, and has written A Chance for Redemption, a drama for the stage which is in full development and set to premiere in Florida this fall.