University of South Florida Director of Athletics Doug Woolard and Associate Athletic Director for Development Vicki Mitchell announced today the hiring of former USF track and field athlete and Olympian Kemel Thompson as Director of the Bulls Varsity Club.
The Varsity Club’s mission is to build lifelong and active relationships with those who competed in athletics for the Green and Gold. In his new role, Thompson will be part of the athletics development office.
Thompson, a 1996 USF graduate, was a world class 400-meter hurdler who competed in the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympics. He missed advancing to the finals in Athens by one-hundredth of a second. The native of Jamaica ran a personal best of 48.05 in 2003 was ranked No. 2 in the world that year. Thompson kept a top eight world ranking for five consecutive years before retiring from the sport.
“We’re delighted to have Kemel join our team, “said Mitchell. “Bulls alumni are the heart and history of our athletics program, and we’re excited to bring back one of our own to lead this important effort. Kemel’s athletics success, educational background, and passion and energy for his alma mater make him an ideal candidate to be the founding director of the Bulls Varsity Club.”
His accomplishments as a USF student-athlete include being the school record holder in the 400-meter hurdles, 4 x 100 meter relay, and 4 x 400 meter relay. Thompson was voted Conference USA MVP where he won the 400 hurdles and 4 x 400 in conference record times. He also was the first strictly track and field athlete to compete at the NCAA Championships for the Bulls. Thompson has also volunteered some of his time with the USF track and field program.
Thompson, who moved to the United States when he was 11, is a graduate of Gateway High School in Kissimmee, Fla., and attended UCF for three years before transferring to USF. He got his Master’s degree in Business Management in 2003 from the University of Loughborough in the United Kingdom. Upon his return to the United States, Thompson formed and managed a construction company with his father before joining USF.