Coaching Academy Staff

Professional headshot of Dr. John Thornton

Rashard Thurston

Program Coordinator

Rashard Thurston brings a wealth of experience as an educator, coach, and administrator. He has over 20 years of coaching and teaching experience. Rashard is responsible for the development of coaching academy outreach programs, certifications, curriculum for coaching leadership and retention programs. In addition, he advises students, provides mentorship and actively recruits students to the Thornton-McFerrin Coaching Academy (TMCA).

Prior to his involvement with the TMCA, Rashard spent six years as an assistant coach with Southwest Tennessee Community College. At Southwest, he was responsible for recruiting, player development, and opponent scouting. During this time, Rashard was also a full time Social Studies teacher for Shelby County School District.

Rashard completed his Master’s degree in Sports Leadership at Northeastern University in 2013. While attending Northeastern, he served as an administrative assistant for the women’s basketball program. In 2011 he was elevated to the director of women’s basketball operations, becoming the first ever director of operations for the women’s basketball program. In his role, Rashard oversaw all travel, budgetary functions, video coordination, and served as the liaison between the coaching staff and NU’s strength and conditioning and sports medicine staff. He also oversaw the daily operations of the program.

Prior to his arrival in Boston, Rashard served as a successful high school coach at Lakeland High School and King High School in his native Florida. He also taught U.S. History, psychology and economics at both schools.

Rashard graduated from Florida A&M University in 2006 with a degree in social science education. While in college, he served as a member of the United States Army Reserves from 1998 to 2004, serving tours in Egypt and Iraq. 

A Miami native, Rashard presently resides in Cypress, TX with his wife, Dr. Idia Thurston, and his three children, Zele, Zoya, and Zua.