Coaching Academy Staff

Professional headshot of Dr. Mike Thornton

Mike Thornton


Dr. Michael “Coach” Thornton is the Director of the Texas A&M Thornton-McFerrin Coaching Academy, a Clinical Assistant Professor in Kinesiology and Sports Management, and continues to serve as the President/Executive Director of Read Youth Charities and the Deerfoot Youth Camp. Additionally, he is an official for division 1 men’s basketball. Coach Thornton serves on various department, college, and Texas A&M committees as well as advising the Women’s Basketball Club Team and the Student Coaches Association.

After receiving his doctorate degree from Texas A&M in 2007, Coach Thornton became the Executive Director of Read Youth Charities and Deerfoot Youth Camp. In 2001, he began officiating high school volleyball and basketball. Coach Thornton has been selected to work multiple state tournaments as a basketball official, and began officiating Division 1 basketball in the 2006-2007 basketball season. He has also worked the Southland Conference tournament as recently as 2020.

From 1996-2001, Coach Thornton continued to be involved in athletics, serving as a volunteer Assistant Coach and Athletic Director at Brazos Christian School in Bryan, Texas. He became the Deerfoot Youth Camp Director and Texas A&M faculty member in 1996. Coach Thornton returned to NSU as an assistant coach for the 1993-1994 basketball season. At the end of the 1994 season, he began his affiliation with Read Youth Charities and the Deerfoot Youth Camp in Magnolia, Texas. 

Coach Thornton received his Master’s degree in Sport Administration from Northwestern State University (NSU), in Natchitoches, Louisiana in 1996, and two bachelor degrees from NSU in 1992. He began his basketball career as a walk-on at NSU, after never participating in high school athletics  and earned an athletic scholarship to complete his final three years at NSU. He served as co-captain of the basketball team during his junior and senior seasons. In the 1992-1993 basketball season, Coach Thornton served as the Tallulah High School head boys’ coach.  After winning the District Championship, Coach Thornton earned the distinction of District Coach of the Year.

Coach Thornton lives in College Station, TX, with his wife Kim, of 25 years. Their oldest daughter Hailey, will graduate from TAMU in December of ‘22, and begin pursuing her Master’s Degree through the Department of KNSM at TAMU. Their middle daughter, Allison, is a sophomore at the University of Texas and evangelizing the Aggie core values while working on her degree in Sport Management. The youngest child, Ryan, is a sophomore at A&M Consolidated and he participates in Basketball and Track and Field. The family spends their summers working together at Deerfoot Youth Camp, located in Magnolia, TX.