Tom Tolen /

The Brighton Area Schools' athletic drector has been named the Michigan High School Athletic Director of the Year by the Michigan High School Athletic Coaches Association. Brighton AD John Thompson will be presented with the award at the MHCSA’s Winter Awards Luncheon on Nov. 12th at the Ramada Lansing Hotel & Conference Center.

In a statement, Executive Director James Okler said, “The MHSCA is very proud to spotlight John Thompson - a person whose work and values best mirror those of the association.”

Thompson was nominated, and ultimately selected, by the 16-member Kensington Lakes Activities Association (KLAA), the athletic league to which Brighton belongs, and the MHSCA. According to a press release by the association, “The…selection of Mr. Thompson from Brighton (Area) Schools reflects positively on his school and community. Athletic Director of the Year selections have been based on the performance of their program over the years and/or their contribution to the sport, school, and community. These were some of the criteria used to determine the selection.”

The MHSCA is a 68-year-old association with nearly 25,000 members serving as administrators and at all levels as coaches in numerous high schools and junior high and middle schools throughout Michigan. The organization strives to to promote the educational value of interscholastic athetics and the role of athletic administrators and coaches.

It is not the first time Thompson has been honored for his efforts. In 2015, he was named the recipient of the George Lovich State Award of Merit by the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. At the time, he said, “It’s nice to be recognized by your colleagues, (and), above that, it’s nice for our community to be recognized.”

Thompson was also honored a few years ago when he was accorded the Unified Champion Schools Leadership Award for the 2018-19 school year. The award was presented to Thompson at the State Summer Special Olympics Games at Central Michigan University.

Also in 2018, Brighton High School was the recipient of an honor by ESPN as one of the top five schools in the U.S. for Unified Champion Schools by its inclusion of special needs students in the overall school program and in Unified Sports. ESPN representatives went to Brighton High School to present the award at a special student-faculty pep rally. Former BAS Superintendent Greg Gray said at the time that Thompson was instrumental in developing the Unified program in the Brighton Area Schools.