Former Streak Chad Thompson named Galesburg High School boys basketball coach – Galesburg Register-Mail

He fills a vacancy created last month when Ryan Hart resigned after two seasons

Mike Trueblood  |  For The Register-Mail

GALESBURG — Chad Thompson is coming home.

The former Galesburg Silver Streaks player and assistant coach was hired by the District 205 board Thursday in a special session as Galesburg High School’s new boys basketball coach.

Thompson fills a vacancy created last month when Ryan Hart resigned after two seasons. Thompson served as Hart’s assistant for the 2019-2020 season and previously was a member of the staff for former coach Mike Reynolds.

More: Galesburg Boys Basketball: Thompson departs to DeKalb

He worked as Reynolds’ assistant at DeKalb last season when the Barbs went 18-1 and were No. 7 ranked in Class 4A.

“I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be good,” said Thompson, a 2011 GHS grad who played collegiately at Carl Sandburg and Monmouth.

“It’s great to be coming back. It’s exciting for me and my family and friends.”

GHS is also seeking to fill a head football coaching vacancy but nothing was announced at Thursday’s meeting. 

Michael Washabaugh also resigned last month after three seasons. Galesburg was 2-4 last season.

The next regular school board meeting is scheduled for June 14.

Thompson will waste no time getting to work.

“We will get in the gym tomorrow (Friday) for the first day of camp,” he said.

“Along with three weeks of camp, we will have four different events we will be attending this summer.”

Thompson, who started his coaching career in Galesburg as Churchill Junior High’s seventh grade coach, will coach players he knows well from his days in the program.

“Four of the main players returning as seniors all played for me,” said Thompson. “It’s a group of guys I have a lot of respect for.”

Thompson was among nine candidates for the Streaks job, three of whom wrapping up interviews with athletic director Eric Matthews and a search committee May 19. Of the two applicants employed by the district, neither was interviewed.

In Hart’s last season, the Streaks finished 9-5 in a COVID-19 shortened campaign.

In his season as Hart’s assistant, Galesburg went 29-4, won the Western Big 6 Conference title and finished with the No. 4 ranking on the Associated Press poll.

“It didn’t take me long — about 10 minutes and I was ready to apply,” said Thompson about his decision become a candidate for the Galesburg job.

“My grandfather (Harley Knosher), Mike Reynolds and coach Evan Massey (GHS girls coach) and a lot of people have been a big influence on me.” 

He added, “It’s something I’ve always wanted, a dream come true to become the head coach at the school I graduated from.”

Mike Trueblood is the former longtime sports editor for The Register-Mail. You can email him at