Georgetown announced on Thursday that head coach John Thompson III will not return after 13 seasons with the Hoyas. Thompson, the son of Hall of Fame Georgetown coach John Thompson Jr, was 278-151 (131-94) during his tenure.
Thompson came to Georgetown in 2004 after a successful four-year run at his alma mater, Princeton, where he went to two NCAA Tournaments and won three Ivy League titles. His tenure started on a high note, going to the 2007 Final Four in just his third season. However, in the ten seasons since then the Hoyas never advanced past the first weekend and four times missed the NCAAs altogether.
Things appeared to be headed in the right direction back in 2013. The Hoyas tied for a Big East title and Thompson was named the conference coach of the year.
But the last two seasons really turned up the pressure on the coach. The Hoyas finished below .500 each year and failed to qualify for the postseason. While marquee Big East programs like Syracuse and Louisville left the conference, Georgetown found itself at the bottom of the new conference’s standings.
Despite this waning on-court success, many speculated that Georgetown would not risk harming its relationship with the older Thompson by firing his son.
The search will be led by athletic director Lee Reed and former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who currently serves as the vice chair of Georgetown’s board of directors.
What’s next for Georgetown? Expect some buzz around current Charlotte Hornets assistant and former Georgetown star Patrick Ewing. While this makes sense, Ewing may be holding out for NBA job instead. Not to mention he remains close with his former coach (John Jr.) and his own son was on the Georgetown staff this past season.
Other sensible names include Harvard’s Tommy Amaker, URI’s Dan Hurley and Princeton’s Mitch Henderson. Another possibility is former Indiana coach Tom Crean, a respected coach who has Big East experience with Marquette and has stated that he would love to coach again next season.