Baker approved as Riverview assistant principal, Thompson as Huntington North boys basketball head coach

Baker approved as Riverview assistant principal, Thompson as Huntington North boys basketball head coach
Posted on 05/09/2023
HCCSC logoThe HCCSC Board of School Trustees approved the hirings of Zach Baker as Riverview Middle School's assistant principal and athletics director and Eric Thompson as Huntington North High School's boys basketball head coach during Monday night's board meeting.

Baker joins the Riverview family after serving as a math teacher at Huntington North as well as coaching with the Huntington North football program and coaching basketball at Roanoke Elementary School.

"I stand here very humbled, very excited to get started with this," Baker said. "It wasn't something I took lightly. I love being a classroom teacher; I love everything about Huntington North. When this opportunity arised, I wanted to really consider it, went through the process and just really felt like it was a good fit."

Current Riverview assistant principal and athletic director Jaymee Wappes, who will be taking over as Riverview's principal ahead of next school year, praised Baker and is excited to work with him.

"I did not take this process lightly," Wappes said. "I was completely invested. I wanted somebody who was going to be a perfect fit for Riverview, for our kids, for our staff, for me. We went through I put together a committee that I trusted, I put a committee together that I knew knew the school and I knew knew our staff and our kids. I know that the committee knows me well enough to know my leadership style and who might balance that out. So we started there. We had some good candidates, we weeded them out and we talked extensively about how that was going to happen and what we were looking for. We ended up having two really, really good candidates that we just couldn't decide where to go with these, and I needed perspective, so I looked to Chuck (Brimbury) to give me that perspective. We went to a second round of interviews, and it became very, very clear, and I'm thrilled, like extremely excited, that Zach Baker is going to be the new assistant principal."

Brimbury also praised Baker's abilities and is excited to see Baker grow in his new role.

"Zach is a tremendous asset at Huntington North, leading the math department," Brimbury said. "He's been an outstanding coach for the Vikings as well. ... Just a high-end, top-end person that our kids will benefit from."

Thompson takes over the Vikings' boys basketball program after leading the Peru High School program and boasts 23 years of coaching experience, 16 of which coming in two separate stints with the Tigers.

"When you're working your way up through the ranks, I've always had my eye on this place," Thompson said. "Praise the Lord it worked out. Very excited to get started."

A veteran of 274 wins as a head coach, Thompson led Peru to back-to-back sectional titles in 2022 and 2023, a feat he also accomplished with the Tigers in 2008 and 2009. Thompson began his coaching career at LaVille High School in the 2001-02 season and also coached five years at Manchester High School in between his Peru stints.

"He's had multiple conference championships, multiple sectional championships, all those types of things that you expect from successful coaches," said Huntington North athletic director Jeremy Markham. "But, I think what's more important that we're getting from Coach Thompson is one, we know we're getting a winner, but number two, he's going to lead our student athletes and he's a leader of men. He's going to do it first class. He's going to push them to get out of their comfort zone, become better basketball players, but also better people, and he's going to do that same thing in the classroom with all of our students."

Thompson will also teach social studies at Huntington North.
Zach Baker

Eric Thompson
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