Tuskegee University Assistant James Thompson Named Pinson Valley Head Football Coach

Pinson, AL – Tuskegee University running backs coach James Thompson has officially been named the Pinson Valley Indians next leader on the gridiron.  

Thompson was approved as the program’s 12th head coach on Thursday by the Jefferson County School Board.  

The Alabama State University alum takes over for former Pinson Valley coach Gentrell Eatman who lead the Indians to a 4-6 record in his lone season at the helm of the Class 6A program. 

Thompson will be the Indian’s fifth head coach in the last six seasons.  Prior to Eatman taking the helm in 2023, Lee Guess lead the program for one season in 2022 (6-4).  Sam Shade’s two year stint produced a 21-6 record including a state championship from 2020-2021 following Patrick Nix’s successful three year run from 2017-2019 that yielded a pair of Class 6A titles. 

Thompson spent the past two seasons on the Tuskegee University staff, with one season as a quality control assistant and the last as the Tigers’ running backs coach and recruiting coordinator.  

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Before stepping into the college ranks as running backs coach at Alabama State, he spent 13 seasons on the prep sidelines highlighted by head coaching stops at Carver-Montgomery and Pickens County.  

From 2015 to 2017 he lead the Pickens County Tornados to a combined 31-11 record including a pair of region titles and a back-to-back Class 1A state title game appearances.  He made the move to Class 6A Carver-Montgomery in 2018 where he guided the Wolverines one of the most successful runs in program history, leaving with a 19-12 mark and two playoff berths over three seasons.  

His career head coaching record currently stands a 50-23 with a 9-5 record in the postseason and a 26-9 mark in region play.  

The Indians will join defending Class 6A state champion Clay-Chalkville, Huffman, Mountain Brook, Oxford, Pell City and Shades Valley in a redrawn Class 6A, Region 6 in 2023.  

The Thompson era will officially kickoff on August 23rd when the Indians travel to defending Class 7A champion Central-Phenix City. 

Cover Photo: Tuskegee University Athletics

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