Born and raised in the farming town of Goodland, Kansas, Nate Thompson moved to Springfield in summer of 2014 to be an assistant coach for the Missouri State University baseball team.
From his earliest days, Nate remembers playing baseball, soccer, wrestling, basketball, football and track. Throughout his youth, he looked up to his older brother, and traveled to watch him play and coach college baseball. These experiences planted the seed that baseball could be a promising career path.
However, the small town of Goodland didn’t even have a high school baseball team. When Nate became more serious about pursuing baseball, his parents selflessly provided a path to help him reach his goals. For several summers, they moved to Denver and Kansas City to give Nate the chance to play with travel teams that played high level baseball.
Following the completion of his own collegiate playing career, Nate began coaching and is now the Recruiting Coordinator and Hitting Coach at the University of Arkansas. From a recruiting standpoint, he enjoys identifying talent and persuading up and coming players that Arkansas is the place to develop their skills and reach their goals.
As a hitting coach, Nate loves helping players reach their potential. It’s especially gratifying when his players get drafted. Ten of Nate’s hitters have been taken in the first 10 rounds of the MLB Draft over the last four seasons. A couple of the more notable draft picks were first rounders Heston Kjerstad of Arkansas, who was the 2nd overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft and Missouri State’s Jake Burger, who was the 11th overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. Other career coaching highlights include winning 5 NCAA regional titles and earning two trips to the College World Series in 2018 and 2019.
The coolest place the sport has ever taken Nate was Alaska, where he played one summer and coached another summer in the Alaska Baseball League. In addition to playing under the midnight sun, he visited Denali National Park, climbed a glacier and enjoyed fishing for king salmon.
Nate’s family keeps him grounded, and he credits his success to the sacrifices made by his parents and the support of his amazing wife Anna and three beautiful daughters. “Everything you do in this life doesn’t mean much without the people you care about,” he says. Faith is important to him, and without coaching he might have pursued the ministry.
When he does find a sliver of downtime, you’ll find Nate fishing in the peace and quiet of the outdoors. Driven by his competitive streak, he says “it’s fun to catch the big one!”