Tramaine Thompson was once a force to be reckoned with on the offense and special teams when he was a Wildcat.
Now a decade after he first played in Bill Snyder Family Stadium, he still finds himself on the field, but he’s traded in the shoulder pads for a headset.
Recently, Thompson returned to his hometown of Jenks, Oklahoma, where he is going into his third year as a wide receivers coach for his former high school’s football team.
“I always knew I wanted to get into coaching.” Thompson said. “I started taking coaching classes while I was still at Kansas State, and got my coaching certificate while I was there.”
Returning to his hometown meant a lot to the Oklahoma native.
“The opportunity came up for me to come back to my old stomping grounds, and I jumped right at it,” Thompson said.
The Jenks High School football team is the real deal. The football program has accumulated 16 state championships.
“[It’s] one of the most storied high school football teams the country,” Thompson said.
Thompson says that there are lessons he learned at K-State that go beyond football, and he has tried to pass those along to his players.
“[I saw] how much of an impact [former coaches] had on me as a player and also a young man, and I always admired them for that. I also wanted to become that.” Thompson said.
He says that he hopes this is just the start of his coaching career.
“I’m just putting in the effort and gaining my experience and trying to better myself,” Thompson said. “So that when the opportunity does come, and I always tell myself it will, I’m ready to grab it.”
Thompson played at Kansas State from 2010-2013 before going on to play with the Atlanta Falcons in 2014. He was an electrifying receiver, but also a mean punt returner.
The K-State alumnus helped the Wildcats snag a bowl win to snap an eleven year drought in 2013.
Thompson finished his career at K-State, ranking No. 8 in school history in all-purpose yards at 3,217 and No. 12 in career receiving yards at 1,673.
Thompson’s career punt-return yardage (718) and punt-return average (14.1) ranked him fourth and fifth in school history, respectively. He also became only the third player ever at K-State to have a rushing, receiving, punt return and kickoff return touchdown in his career.