Ian Thomson’s (g’06) walk to his office took a new turn on campus on Dec. 1, 2023. After a decade as Tabor College’s women’s soccer coach, he ventured to the H.W. Lohrenz Administration Building where he now serves as dean of student life, learning & formation.
It’s a new journey for Thomson but an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.
“I was unsure at first, but I had numerous supporters on campus and at home who were relentless in their insistence that I should give it a shot,” Thomson said. “My wife knew I would be a good fit for student life and really encouraged me to pursue the position. God opened door after door until I realized I was officially walking into the dean’s office.”
The road to becoming dean is personal to Thomson. As someone who has walked the very steps of the students he now oversees, it helped him cast his vision for his new position. He cherishes his memories of how God molded and shaped him at Tabor, noting the strength of the college is in the well-being of its student body.
“I know what it’s like to arrive on campus as one person and gradually become convicted of a desire to become someone else, someone more Christ-like,” Thomson said. “Tabor opened my eyes to life after college, and I saw that I could be the educated, compassionate, ethical man I wanted to become.”
Thomson earned his B.A. in graphic design at Tabor in 2006. He completed his M.S. in recreation and sports science, concentration in soccer coaching education, at the University of Ohio in May 2020.
With students hailing from 39 states and 28 countries this past fall, Thomson said Tabor’s diversity is something to celebrate. He also noted opportunities students have to thrive in the community through their classes, sports or hobbies.
“Our students come with them a beautiful assortment of cultures, traditions, and histories,” Thomson said. “I’ve coached elite soccer players from Germany and listened to students from Hillsboro sing the Messiah. I’ve cheered on first-generation college students in DECA competitions. Our campus is rich in interests and talents, and I’m encouraged by how the different pieces of our puzzle fit together.”
Thomson’s career has been marked by service to Tabor, his players, and the community. He most recently served as the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) chair. He was also the Hillsboro Youth Soccer Academy director and coached for McPherson FC in McPherson, Kan.
While it’s bittersweet to close the door to coaching, Thomson is confident in handing the reins to new head coach Thomas Gaskell.
“It is my sincere desire to see the program succeed in the future – both in winning percentages and in students’ success,” Thomson said. “I know that Tom Gaskell will be key to that success. He has an impressive soccer IQ, a clear love for Jesus Christ, and a dedication to his players. I am excited to see where the program will go, and I’m looking forward to cheering them, and all the other Tabor competitors, on in my new role.”