The majestic Hall of Famer John Thompson passed away, he turned Georgetown into a “Hoya paranoia” and became the first black coach to lead the team into the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. He was 78 years old.
John Thompson death announcement:
Georgetown announced John Thompson died in a family statement on Monday. No details were disclosed.
Thompson is one of the most famous polarizing figures in the sport. He took over the endangered Georgetown project in the 1970s and shaped its unique style into a perennial competitor.
In 1984, a national championship team was dominated by national center Patrick Ewing
Georgetown broke into the other two Champions Leagues in the game between Thompson in charge and Ewing Tour Paint, losing to Michael Jordan’s North Carolina in 1982. The team lost to Villanova in 1985.
Thompson is 6 feet 10 meters tall and always wears a white towel on his shoulders. For decades, Thompson has stood on Mount Hoyas without exaggeration and became his ancestor after he resigned as coach in 1999.
His son John Thompson III was hired as Georgetown coach in 2004:
When his son was fired in 2017, the elder Thompson announced Ewing as his successor at a press conference.
Along the way:
Thompson talked about his ideas, isolating his players from the media and holding positions that were not always popular. He never avoids sensitive topics, especially the role of race in sports and society. He once protested against NCAA rules before a game because he thought it hurt minority athletes.
Thompson said in 1999:
“The irony is that everything that got me out of the Hall of Fame, not the things that got me into the Hall of Fame, I will be remembered.”
Thompson became Hoyas’ coach in 1972 and began to rebuild the team that was 3-23 last season. In the next 27 years, he led Georgetown to participate in 14 consecutive NCAA tournaments (1979-92), 24 consecutive playoff appearances and won six Big Eastern Championships.
Thompson adopted a physically defensive approach, often relying on a dominant center-Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo are his other students. He has 26 players from the NBA Draft.
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