How BGSU Women’s Soccer Coaches Ended up at BGSU


Sanaa Jones and Ava Thoman

Head coach Jimmy Walker and new assistant coach Olivia Thompson both played professionally and now help the BGSU Women’s Soccer Team make it to that level.  And the director of sports operations for the team stays busy getting her doctorate at BGSU as well.

Bernie Compton has been working with the team for eight seasons and since 2019 she has been the director of sports operations for the team.  The players call her the “Team Mom”.  She makes sure the team has buses, hotels, food, equipment, communicates with families and alumni, and so much more.  Compton played soccer in high school and college but suffered an injury at the University of Central Arkansas.  At that point she gained a management position for the team. Compton earned a degree in psychology and got her Masters of Science degree in Sports Leadership with a concentration in sports psychology.  Today Compton is busy being the “Team’s Mom” and at the same time getting her PhD at BGSU in Leadership Studies.  When Compton was asked if she would every switch sports, she replied with, “I could, but I love soccer. I’ve loved it since I was a little kid.”

Olivia Thompson was just hired two months ago and has already shown her passion for the sport. This will be her first season as assistant coach with BGSU Women’s Soccer. She wanted a job at a Division One Institution and BG was the best fit because “Jimmy and his staff want to win.”  She played in elementary school all the way to the professional level.  She played at Loyola Marymount University and professionally at FC Lugano from 2016 to 2017, Cardiff Met from 2018 to 2021, and was on the Orlando Pride practice team from 2021 to 2022. As a coach she is excited to learn the game “from a different angle” by coaching new positions.  Thompson said she wants to players to remember that soccer is “a beautiful game, a fun game, and make sure to enjoy it while you’re out there.”

Jimmy Walker was born in Birmingham, England and went to college at Tiffin University.  He has the tile of head coach for BGSU Women’s Soccer.  He played professionally for the Kalamazoo Kingdom from 1996 till 1997 and the Cleveland Caps in 1998. Walker said he did not know anything about Ohio, but during college he fell in love with the area and met his wife in Tiffin.  He coached the Tiffin Women’s Soccer team from 1997 till 2002.  Throughout his time as a soccer coach before BGSU he coached at Tiffin, Duquesne, Penn State, and Findlay. Walker is happy to be at BGSU and hopes that he’s made strong relationships with his players. Walker said that having a good relationship helps because “they understand you care about them and want them to be successful” even when you push them to achieve more.

With help from the entire coaching staff, the team has won four out of five Mid-American Conference Championships within the last five years.

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