After a storied past with King College as both a player and both an assistant and head coach, Louis Thorpe has established a permanent home as the head coach of King College Men’s Soccer. Thorpe enters his second season as the men’s head coach following one season as the head coach of the Lady Tornado and a pair of stints as an assistant coach with the team. He is the 18th head coach in King College Men’s Soccer history after taking the position prior to the 2011 season.
Thorpe possesses the ability to connect and build healthy, meaningful relationships with his student-athletes in addition to his Hall of Fame playing career. His infectious sense of humor, hard work ethic and knowledge of the game he is passionate of has made him a figurehead for King Soccer and a recognizable character around the campus.
In his first season as head coach of the men’s team, he led the squad to a postseason berth in its first year as a member of Conference Carolinas and NCAA Division II. During the 2011 season, Tom Winspear marked up the scoring charts when he led the team with 15 goals and three assists en route to being named to the All-Southeast Region First Team and All-Conference First Team. Five of his student-athletes were named to the 2011 Conference Carolinas All-Academic Team at season’s end, as well.
A native of Gambia, Africa, Thorpe began his experience at King as a student-athlete in 1988. He played four years of soccer for the Tornado, putting together career numbers that gained him entry into the College’s Athletic Hall of Fame. He captained the 1991 Tornado team that won a Tennessee-Virginia Athletic Conference (TVAC) championship and was selected as Team MVP following the 1990 campaign.
Thorpe returned to King as an assistant coach for the men’s soccer program at King from 1999-2003. During that time, he was also the interim head coach for the Lady Tornado soccer team from 2000-2002. With the women’s team, Thorpe led the Lady Tornado to a 41-18-2 overall record, including an 18-win season in 2001.
In 2003, he became a men’s soccer assistant coach at nearby Tusculum College where he stayed for four seasons before returning to King a second time in 2007. Thorpe’s return could not be more perfectly timed as King began its transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II where his leadership and steadiness proved valuable in the move.
Upon his return, Thorpe assumed duties as an assistant of the men’s program once again where he held the position for two seasons. After helping King to an 11-6-1 record in 2009, he assumed the role of head coach of the Lady Tornado for a second time in his coaching career. In his first season back as the head coach of King Women’s Soccer Thorpe led his team to a NCCAA Mid-East Regional Championship, earning them a trip to the NCCAA National Tournament. Following his success in 2010, Thorpe was named the Mid-East Region Coach of the Year.
Prior to his collegiate career at King, Thorpe played on the Gambia Junior National Football team. He also has coached with the Heroes F.C., located in Washington D.C.
Thorpe graduated from King in 1992 with a degree in business administration.