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NWAC HEADLINES

Edmonds' Ensign resigns, Thompson takes over as interim women's basketball head coach

LYNNWOOD -- The Edmonds Community College women's basketball program has a change in leadership. Effective January 18, 2019, Kirsten Thompson has assumed the role of interim head coach. Thompson takes over for Eric Ensign, who stepped down for personal reasons. She joined the staff this fall as an assistant.

Ensign landed a new job as the Ballard High School athletic director over the summer and ultimately tired of the balancing act between the two responsibilities. "Due to the demands of my new job, I don't believe I can dedicate the time necessary to help fully develop our players athletically and socially. I am unable to put the time in that our players need and deserve," said Ensign. He acknowledged the situation would be challenging this year but recently realized it was not only affecting the program, but himself personally. His intention was to stay on for all of the girls he recruited.

The women's basketball program had struggled for many years, but Ensign spearheaded the effort to change that. Coming off a winless season in 2016-17, Ensign led the Tritons to five wins last year, the most since the 2012-13 campaign. Edmonds' seven wins this year have already matched the win total in that 2012-13 season. Additionally, the team GPA last year was the highest of any women's hoops squad over the past seven years. There are also noticeable changes on the roster, not only with the quality of players, but the number of student-athletes on the team. Edmonds has tremendous depth with 17 players in the program currently.

"Eric spent an enormous amount of time and energy the past two years recruiting. I believe he has laid the foundation for the women's basketball program to be competitive year in and year out moving forward, and for that I am extremely grateful," said athletic director Spencer Stark. "Coaching at our level already presents challenges, but having to build from ground zero takes an entirely different amount of commitment. He raised expectations."

Thompson prepped at Monroe High School, graduating in 2005 as a decorated basketball player who earned many accolades. She has the distinction of being the first female to be named as an All-American from Washington State. Thompson was selected to play in the 2005 McDonald's All-American Game and was first-team All State. She went on to play four years at NCAA DI Arizona State University in the Pac-10.

As a sophomore Thompson was sixth overall in field goal percentage in the conference; as a junior she earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors. After graduating from ASU she went on to play professionally overseas in Germany and Greece. Before arriving at Edmonds she helped with skill development for several AAU teams and assisted at Jackson High School last year. Read her full bio

When asked about stepping into her new role she said, "Never fear the unexpected but always be prepared." Thompson is confident in her abilities and wants to create a program where students learn the value of discipline and accountability. She will lean on her experience as a Division I student-athlete and try and replicate that as much as possible in the community college setting.  "I want to help these girls grow into young women," she added.

Assistant coach Jovan Wiggins remains in his position with the program, and has overseen many off the court duties like study hall, shoot arounds, and administrative support. He's also been very active in the recruitment of next year's team. Edmonds already has several verbal commitments.

Heading into Wednesday's home tilt with Bellevue, the Tritons are 7-5 overall and have a 2-2 mark in the NWAC North Region. They find themselves right in the hunt for playoff contention -- something the program has not experienced since 2010.

"I believe Kirsten will bring consistency, structure, and strong organization skills to the table. She is a good communicator. Her most important task won't be to win basketball games; it will be to support the team and create a positive student-athlete experience," said Stark.


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