Jim Thrash begins his second season as an assistant coach at Purdue following a two-year stint as the head coach at the College of Southern Idaho.
An excellent teacher and recruiter, Thrash brings 16 years of coaching experience, all with winning teams, to the Boilermaker program. As the leader of the Southern Idaho men's basketball program, Thrash led the Golden Eagles to an 18-12 record in 1997 where they allowed only 62.7 points per game, second-best in the nation, and a 28-4 mark and a Scenic West Conference championship during the 1998 season. Thrash's two years at Southern Idaho served as a return to coaching following 13 years in fund-raising, consulting, and working several clinics and camps in addition to serving as a color analyst for television.
From 1978 through 1983, Thrash was an assistant coach at Fresno State, where the Bulldogs compiled a record of 133-42, captured three Pacific Coast Athletic Association titles and the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) championship in 1983. Fresno State posted three consecutive 20-win seasons from 1981 to 1983, including a 27-3 record in 1982 which included an appearance in the NCAA Tournament's "Sweet 16." As the chief recruiter for the Bulldogs, Thrash recruited four players, Rod Higgins, Ron Anderson, Bernard Thompson and Pete Verhoeven, who went on to highly successful careers in the NBA.
Prior to his tenure at Fresno State, Thrash spent seven seasons as both an assistant and head coach at Manzano High in Albuquerque, N.M., where the Monarchs recorded a 141-32 record. In addition to winning state championships in both 1973 and 1974, Manzano also captured five district titles and made two appearances in the state semifinals. In Thrash's final three seasons as head coach, the Monarchs posted a 66-16 record while winning three district titles with two trips to the state tournament's "final four."
After earning 12 varsity letters in four sports and graduating from La Grove High School in Farina (IL) in 1964, Thrash attended Thornton Junior College (Harvey, IL) where he earned five letters in three sports. He would go onto Eastern New Mexico University and play basketball on a pair of teams that won 46 of their 57 games and advanced to the NAIA National Championship finals before graduating with honors in 1969.
An avid bird hunter, Thrash is a collector of antiques and books. In addition to owning several books by World War II author Ernie Pyle, who was killed by a sniper off the coast of Okinawa, he also enjoys the work of former Los Angeles Times sports columnist Jim Murray and current Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly. A classic car enthusiast, Thrash is also the proud of owner of a 1965 Malibu convertible as well as a 1966 Mustang convertible.
Thrash and his wife Denise have two sons, Jason (27), a women's basketball coach at Rend Lake College (Ill.), and Mark (19), a sophomore forward for Biola University in California.
- A LOOK AT JIM THRASH -
- Born: February 16, 1946
- Hometown: Farina, Ill.
- High School: La Grove
- College: Eastern New Mexico '69 (B.S.)
- Wife: Denise
- Children: Jason and Mark
1998-99 Assistant Coach Purdue NCAA "Sweet 16" 1997-98 Head Coach S. Idaho NJCCA Regional 1996-97 Head Coach S. Idaho NJCCA Regional 1982-83 Assistant Coach Fresno State NIT Champions 1981-82 Assistant Coach Fresno State NCAA "Sweet 16" 1980-81 Assistant Coach Fresno State NCAA 2nd Round 1979-80 Assistant Coach Fresno State NCAA 1st Round 1977-78 Assistant Coach Fresno State NCAA 2nd Round
1999-pres. Assistant Coach Purdue 1997-98 Head Coach College of Southern Idaho 1978-83 Assistant Coach Fresno State 1970-77 Assistant/Head Coach Manzano High