The Patrick Ewing Era at Georgetown is over. In a release from the school, President John J. DeGioia announced a “transition in leadership” while not using any specific language as to whether or not Ewing was resigning, being fired, or something in between. The Hoyas were eliminated from the Big East Tournament yesterday, completing a 7-25 season and a 75-109 overall tenure for Ewing, one of the school’s most decorated alums.
“Patrick Ewing is the heart of Georgetown basketball,” said DeGioia. “I am deeply grateful to Coach Ewing for his vision, his determination, and for all that he has enabled Georgetown to achieve. Over these past six years, he was tireless in his dedication to his team and the young men he coached and we will forever be grateful to Patrick for his courage and his leadership in our Georgetown community.”
Ewing is truly a Georgetown legend, playing for John Thompson and leading the Hoyas to NCAA Championship Game three times in four years and winning it all in 1984. He went onto play 17 seasons in the NBA, mostly with the New York Knicks – the team that won the first NBA Draft lottery to draft him 1st overall in 1985.
“I am very proud to be a graduate of Georgetown University,” Ewing said in a statement. “And I am very grateful to President DeGioia for giving me the opportunity to achieve my ambition to be a head basketball coach. It is particularly meaningful to me to be in charge of the basketball program at my alma mater. I wish the program nothing but success. I will always be a Hoya.”
He retired in 2002 and went straight into coaching, spending the next 15 years as an assistant coach in the NBA, with stints on staff in Washington, Houston, Orlando and Charlotte. Georgetown hired him in 2017 to replace John Thompson III, a welcome homecoming for one of the all-time great Hoyas but also marking Ewing’s first collegiate job of any kind.
Ewing’s teams never really found their footing, peaking in year two (2018-19) with a 19-14 record and NIT bid. By March 2021, Ewing was squarely on the hot seat and the 9-12 Hoyas were a disaster. But four magical days in the Garden, Ewing’s domain for so many years, bought Ewing and company a surprise Big East Tournament crown and NCAA Tournament bid – it also extended the coach’s time at the helm two more years.
Since the NCAA appearance, the Hoyas are 13-50 overall and an abysmal 2-37 in Big East play. For years, fans have been clamoring for change – some conflicted about firing the Hoya Hero while many hoped he would just step aside. In the end, it’s unclear how it went down but all that matters is that Ewing is no longer the coach and the program can begin to rebuild.
As a move of some kind seemed inevitable to most of us in the coaching carousel game, we originally posted a list of candidates back in January. We will be re-ordering that list on Thursday night and likely adding some new names to the mix.
credit to Georgetown Athletics for the image