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Thomson to take Thunderwolves reins for rest of the season

Lakehead names former player Ryan Thomson as interim head coach of men's basketball team after firing Manny Furtado last week.
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Ryan Thomson (left) fights his way past Acadia's Lauchlan Gale on March 12, 2011 at the Halifax Metro Centre. Thomson had eight points in Lakehead's 75-67 triumph over the Axemen in the consolation semifinal at the CIS men's national basketball championship. (Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com)

THUNDER BAY -- The Lakehead Thunderwolves will be turning to a former player to lead the men's basketball team through the rest of the season after parting ways with bench boss Many Furtado last week.

The program on Tuesday officially announced Ryan Thomson will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the season, taking the helm of a squad that entered the Christmas break with an OUA-worst 0-10 record.

“I’m very excited for the opportunity to be back at Lakehead. Lakehead University means a great deal to me and I’m excited to return to a community that has always been incredibly welcoming and supportive. I can’t wait to get into the gym and see what the team can accomplish,” Thomson said in a statement issued by the program.

Thomson was recruited to Lakehead in 2009 by former head coach Scott Morrison. During his time with the team, the Thunderwolves made four straight trips to the Canadian university championship tournament, including the program's first OUA Wilson Cup title in 2011 and a march to the national final in 2013. Thomson missed the majority of the team's playoff push that year after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his knee during their second-round win.

After the injuries ended his career, Thomson spent two seasons on the bench as an assistant coach. He also reunited with Morrison to work with the Maine Red Claws, the development league affiliate of the NBA's Boston Celtics. Most recently, he worked with the NBL of Canada's Saint John Riptide as an assistant coach and director of player personnel.

"I look forward to working with Ryan and I'm confident he has the abilities to lead our program," athletic director Tom Warden said in a statement.

The Thunderwolves resume league play this weekend when they host the Guelph Gryphons.

Lakehead Athletics has announced that Ryan Thomson will be taking over the Men’s Basketball Program for the remainder of the 2017/18 season as the interim head coach.

“I look forward to working with Ryan and I'm confident he has the abilities to lead our program,” said Athletics Director, Tom Warden

Ryan played basketball as a Thunderwolf from 2009-2013 where the team had a great deal of success reaching the Final 8 tournament in each of those four seasons and winning a CIS Silver medal in 2012.

After two seasons as an assistant coach for the Thunderwolves while finishing his Masters in Education, Ryan spent time in Maine working with the Maine Red Claws, the NBA Development League affiliate of the Boston Celtics, under former Lakehead coach Scott Morrison.

Before accepting the Thunderwolves bench boss position, Ryan was working for the Saint John Riptide of the NBL Canada where he was an assistant coach and director of player personnel while also working in each of the past two summers with Canada Basketball and their junior national and cadet programs.

“I’m very excited for the opportunity to be back at Lakehead. Lakehead University means a great deal to me and I’m excited to return to a community that has always been incredibly welcoming and supportive. I can’t wait to get into the gym and see what the team can accomplish.” - Ryan Thomson

Coach Thomson and the men’s team start 2018 taking on Guelph (2-8) in the Thunderdome on January 5th and 6th at 8:00 p.m..



Matt Vis

About the Author: Matt Vis

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Matt is honoured to tell the stories of his hometown.
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