Midland Names Courtney Thomsen as Director of Athletics
Midland University is excited to announce the addition of Courtney Thomsen as its new Director of Athletics. Thomsen takes over for Dave Gillespie, who is retiring June 1 after serving as Midland’s AD since 2013.
Thomsen comes to Midland after serving as Director of Athletics for Marymount California University (MCU) in Rancho Palos Verdes since January of 2017. Under her guidance, the Mariners, a member of the NAIA and California Pacific Conference, have experienced exponential growth within the athletic department. In the fall of 2018, Thomsen oversaw the additions of men’s and women’s tennis teams, while that same year also saw the arrival of women’s indoor volleyball and women’s beach volleyball squads. Esports and surfing were added to the athletic program in 2019, raising the number of varsity sports to 16.
Midland has 33 varsity sports and more than 900 athletes, making it the largest athletic program in Nebraska and one of the largest in the nation. “Midland has been a strong competitor in the GPAC, and the opportunity to be a part of the department and keep raising that standard is something that excites me,” Thomsen said. “It’s exciting to come into a department that has already been successful and help take it to the next level.”
Prior to serving as AD, she was head women’s soccer coach at MCU from 2012-17 and earned Cal Pac Coach of the Year honors in 2014 and 2015. She also worked as MCU’s Sports Information Director from 2015-17. Thomsen believes that experience in many different roles will serve her well at Midland. “I have an understanding of how athletics works as an athlete, a coach, a director of operations, and running a department,” she said. “That versatility has given me a greater understanding of how college athletics should operate. Additionally, the ability to communicate and work well amongst constituents will continue to raise the standards of the Warrior athletic department.”
Thomsen has also worked tirelessly to cultivate student-athletes both on and off the field. She helped form the Mariners Captain’s Council, a group that helped enhance the leadership opportunities for MCU’s student-athletes and would later help develop the Mariner Study Hall program. Thomsen also oversaw the addition of a student-athlete academic advisor role. Over the past four years, the Mariners have had nearly 100 student-athletes earn NAIA Scholar-Athlete recognition.
“I see tremendous value in programs like the Warrior Skills program that Midland has in place to help support student-athletes,” Thomsen said. “You can be taken out of your sport unexpectedly, and it’s the lifelong journey and preparation for life after athletics that will be most important for all student-athletes. We want to be front-runners not only athletically but academically as well.”
Midland University President Jody Horner believes Thomsen is the ideal fit for Midland. “Courtney will be an outstanding addition to our athletic department,” Horner said. “Her knowledge and experience, as an athlete, coach, and administrator, will be invaluable to our program.”
A native of Redondo Beach, California, Thomsen was a Division I soccer player at the University of Arizona from 2001-2003 and later served as an undergraduate assistant coach for the Wildcats. She and her husband, Brandon, have three children: Theo (7), Miles (6), and Stella (14 months). Brandon is an Omaha native who graduated from Roncalli Catholic High School.
Thomsen and her family are excited about the opportunity to start a new chapter in her career at Midland. “The more research I did about Midland University and the Athletics Department, and the more I got to know the people, I knew this is where I wanted to be,” she said. “I look forward to joining the Warrior family.”