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The Road To Redemption? Tim Thompson Back In Coaching at KIPP Academy

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Tim Thompson wants to make a difference in kids lives in North Memphis.

Thompson, who guided his alma mater Melrose to two Class 3A state titles in the 1990s has been hired as the new head football coach at KIPP Academy.

KIPP Academy is a charter school in North Memphis that was established in 2011.

The Phoenix are in Class 2A and are coming off a 3-7 season.

Thompson replaces Daniel Bandy as coach of KIPP Academy.

"It was a great opportunity for me to get back in the community and try to help kids get off the mean streets of Memphis and better themselves academically and athletically," Thompson said.

"I want to give back and make a difference in a kids life and in the community, I'm excited about the opportunity at KIPP."

Thompson has been out of coaching at the high school level since 2007 when he guided Fayette Ware to a 17-16 record and two playoff appearances in 2006 and 2007.

The Fayette Ware program currently had the longest losing streak in the state which stands at 59 games.

The last Fayette Ware was a playoff win over Cheatham County in 2007 with Thompson patrolling the sidelines.

Thompson had a very successful seven year stint at Melrose where he took the Golden Wildcats to three 3A state title game appearances three straight years (1996, 1997 and 1998).

Melrose won state titles in 1996 and 1998 with a runner up appearance in 1997 and Thompson had a 77-17 record in Orange Mound.

He overall coaching record is 94-33.

But although wildly successful, Thompson has also been a lightening rod for controversy.

In 2001, he was suspended from teaching and coaching by Memphis City Schools for three years after accepting $1,400 dollars from a University of Kentucky assistant coach.

"I totally messed up and it was no one's fault but mine," Thompson said. I've learned from my mistakes."

During the three year suspension, Thompson wrote his Autobiography entitled "The Tim Thompson Story: Winning Against All Odds" and was a motivational speaker as well.

In 2010, Thompson penned another book called "The Locker Room" and started his own company training athletes called "Next Level Training."

He is the CEO and Sports Director at Next Level Training.

After his three years at Fayette Ware, Thompson resigned in February 2008 to take over the Ridgeway program.

Thompson conducted spring practice but came under fire after it was revealed he allowed students to participate in spring practice that wasn't enrolled students from Ridgeway.

After an investigation by the Ridgeway administration, they decided against hiring. Thompson as head coach.

In May of 2008, Thompson was investigated again this time by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) for a possible misuse of school funds.

The investigation did not turn up anything against Thompson, so the question is has Thompson really learned from his mistakes?

I guess we will know sooner rather than later.

Currently there are open jobs at Morristown East, Cascade and Dresden.

Contact Donovan at donovans1222@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter at Examine_Stew.

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