John Tompkins is back in the head coaching business.
Five seasons after leaving his post as Lake Dallas’ skipper to be an assistant at Denton, Tompkins has been elevated to lead the Broncos following the departure of former coach Toby Rumfield this offseason.
Tompkins said his hire was made official on Thursday. He announced the opportunity on his Twitter account Friday morning, making him the Broncos’ fourth head coach since 2017.
“I’m super excited about it,” Tompkins said. “I think it’s important to have stability in a program. We’ve got great blue-collar kids who work hard and have bought in, and I think we can create a culture and keep it. I’ve been one of the only stable things here. Guys have come and gone. But the kids know me, and the parents know me and what I’m about.
“It’s just a slightly different role, and probably a more intense one.”
Tompkins is headed into his 22nd year as a coach. He spent nine years at Lake Dallas and took the Falcons to the Class 5A region finals in 2016. To date, that run still stands as Lake Dallas’ deepest playoff run in baseball. As a head coach, his career record is 192-116 with a 25-16 playoff record. He stepped down after that Cinderella 2016 season for family reasons and became an assistant under then-Denton coach Nick Buck for the 2016-2017 school year. Buck left after that season and was replaced by Jimmy Webster, who left for Grapevine after one year at the helm. Rumfield was then brought in and coached the next three seasons.
According to Denton football coach and athletic coordinator Billy Miller, Rumfield stepped down for family reasons.
Despite having three head coaches during Tompkins’ time as an assistant, the Broncos only missed the playoffs once (2021). That stretch included two district titles and a playoff series win under Webster.
“I’ve always been looking to John to be the stability piece,” Miller said. “He was that stability piece, and he had the relationship with those kids. And the way I see it, it’s worked out in everybody’s favor. I’ve got a great coach and a great man to lead our kids, and he’s been able to do all those same things while getting himself into a situation where he was ready to jump back into the driver’s seat. I think I’ve got someone here now who is going to hold this program together for the next 10 or 12 years.”
Despite having to go through a COVID-19 shortened 2020 season and missing the playoffs this past spring, Tompkins has nine guys with varsity experience returning for what he expects will be a great season next year.
“We’ve got some holes to fill and work to do, but that’s every year,” Tompkins said. “We’ve got a core nucleus coming back, and these kids really like each other. It’s not as much about winning a district title. It’s about getting them better as the year goes along and getting good at the right time. We never won a district title at Lake Dallas, but we were able to play well at the right time and make some really good playoff runs. That’s my goal, and I think we can get there.
“This was just the right time to come back. This is the place I wanted to be. It’s a place where you can build a program, and I think I am a program builder.”