James “JJ” Thatcher
Head Men’s Basketball Coach
James “JJ” Thatcher
Head Men’s Basketball Coach
Florida National University
Coach James “JJ” Thatcher will enter his fourth season at Florida National University and now as the Head Men’s basketball coach. Coach JJ talked about how the past two seasons seen the conquistadors make it to back to back national tournaments. The USCAA D1 National Tournament meant a great deal to the men’s basketball program. Coach Thatcher said it really puts your program on the national level of college basketball, and many student- athletes want to attend a University that wins, to finish the season 20-11 in 2014-2015 and make a National Tournament appearance and turn around in the 2015-2016 season with a 19-11 and make it again to the tournament meant a great deal to the FNU basketball program. Year after year coach Thatcher has brought in some of the top recruiting classes for the conquistadors basketball program, and it looks like there will been another one for the 2016-2017 season.
Coach JJ, has experience at the High School, AAU, and College levels. He has developed a reputation as a tireless worker and great competitor who understands what it takes to build a championship caliber basketball program. Thatcher’s strong suit is recruiting and the relationships he has developed around the country. He has made a positive contribution to the success of the other programs he has been affiliated with.
Prior to Florida National University: Coach Thatcher spent last season at State College of Florida a NJCAA D1 Junior College in Bradenton, Florida. Head Coach Brock Erickson (Assistant Coach Iona College NCAA D1), said coach Thatcher will be missed in the SCF family and Athletic staff, ” He was a hard worker everyday he was here, if he was not in the office, he was somewhere around the state of Florida, putting SCF on the map. Coach Erickson said he will be missed deeply and hard to replace with the work he has done here at State College of Florida. Coach Erickson said “He has a great eye for the game and he can just flat out recruit with the best of them”. We wish him the best on his future. Coach Thatcher help lead the SCF basketball to a 24-7 and the Sun Coast Conference Championship.
Prior to State College of Florida: James “JJ” Thatcher was the Head Women’s basketball of Trinity Baptist College Lady Eagles Basketball program for the 2011-2012 season. Before leaving TBC he recruited the best female player in school history Nicole Collins who went on to be a NCCAA All-American, she posted numbers of 32ppg, 19rpg, 3apg, 3spg and 2bpg. She went down as the all time leading scorer in Trinity Baptist College Women’s Basketball. “AD and Head Men’s Basketball coach John D. Jones said in his 21 years as an assistant and head coach, that JJ Thatcher was one of the greatest recruiters he has ever worked with”. Thatcher led the lady eagles to their first win in school history and an overtime win with only four players after the reminder of the team fouled out, he was also an assistant and recruiter for the Men’s Basketball team. A Men’s team with four of Coach Thatcher’s D1 to NAIA transfers that won a National Championship in the Small College National Tournament. It was said to be one of the best teams to ever play in a season at TBC. A school only known of playing small Christian college, soon became a national known and power. Coach Thatcher help put together a very strong schedule with the likes of Jacksonville University, Savannah State University, Florida Tech, Valdosta State University, and many other NCAA D2,D2 and NAIA powers. Coach Thatcher recruited 3 All-Americans while at Trinity Baptist College and helped in just two season put the Eagles on a National and world wide map.
Prior to Trinity Baptist: Coach Thatcher was the top assistant men’s basketball coach at Brewton Parker College, a NAIA D1 School in Georgia, under Head Coach John D. Jones. Thatcher spent two seasons under Coach Jones, helping establish a program that consistently competed with the best in the nation. Jones credited Thatcher with helping to bring in some of the top NCAA Division 1 transfers in the country to BPC. In two seasons at BPC, the Barons made back to back conference playoff berths while knocking off 20TH ranked Emmanuel College, and 16th ranked Southern Poly State University during the 2010-2011 season. Coach Thatcher also spent time recruiting for the Lady Barons basketball team in helping them reach the SSAC Conference tournament both years. It was said to be the best girl recruit he was able to bring to the Barons was Erica Brown and LSU transfer and still to this day consider one of the best female athletes to ever come out of the South Florida area.
Before joining Brewton Parker College: Thatcher was the top assistant coach at Florida State College @Jacksonville, NJCAA D1, on the women’s side for two seasons. FCCJ is a highly regarded program that plays in one of the toughest regions in the country. He helped lead them to a #11 national ranking and a top 10 ranking in the state of Florida. While at FCCJ, Thatcher helped Head Coach Debora Woods recruit two first team All-State players, three top 25 scorers in the country, and one All-Academic player. Coach Thatcher also was active in community service, and the local High Schools with helping young men and women play summer basketball.
Before joining the FCCJ staff: Thatcher was the top assistant coach under head coach Craig Wilsman at Warner University NAIA D2, also on the women’s side. Coach Wilsman said “I just don’t know how he knows all these players but he sure can recruit. While at Warner, he worked in many areas including fundraising, community service, team camps, scheduling, and player development. Coach Thatcher helped lead WU in his first season to a 16-15 record and a win over top ranked NCAA D3 School St. Francis.
AAU has also played a big part of Thatcher’s basketball coaching career. He founded the AAU program Florida Hoopsters to help put young man and women athletes into college. He has been instrumental in assisting many young men and women to get an opportunity to play at the next level. One of Thatcher’s alumni is Simone Durden, who now plays Division 1 basketball at Florida A&M on a full scholarship. The Florida Hoopsters are still active on the summer AAU circuit. Coach Thatcher has helped put more then 100+ student’s athletes into college all over America.
Thatcher got his start as a player at Shores Christian Academy and at one point was one of the top prep basketball programs in the country, he played for coach Allan Adams a former NCAA D1 man’s basketball coach. Coach started his coaching in Florida’s prep basketball leagues, including Newberry High School in Gainesville, FL where he served under Head Coach Avery Swarn as an assistant, and helped lead them to the district playoffs with a 17-6 record. Before that, he spent two seasons as an assistant women’s coach at Westwood Hills Christian Academy, achieving a 42-10 record.
James Thatcher was born in Philadelphia, PA. He graduated from Shores Christian Academy in Ocala, FL. He is single and resides in Miami FL.