When Georgetown University threw a curveball and fired Coach John Thompson III, the son of prestigious coach John Thompson, the school was looking for candidates to help rebuild the men’s basketball programs that’s been trending in the wrong direction for the last few years.
The Hoyas decided to stick to their roots, and hire Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing on Monday to be the new head coach.
“Patrick Ewing emerged as the talented leader best prepared to coach the Hoyas in this new era of highly competitive college basketball,” Georgetown Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Lee Reed said in the press release. “To hire a head coach with this depth of coaching experience and personal achievements is tremendous. It is a thrill to have him come back to his alma mater and continue the legacy of tradition and success he had as a student-athlete on the Hilltop.”
Ewing was selected first overall by the New York Knicks in the 1985 NBA Draft. During his career with the Knicks, he became the team’s all-time leader in points, rebounds, blocked shots, steals and field goals made. The 17-year veteran led the Knicks to two NBA Finals, and was a member of the Dream Team that won a gold medal in the 1992 Olympics.
Ewing has been an assistant coach in the NBA, but never had any head coaching experience. He has spent time with the Houston Rockets and the Orlando Magic before joining the Charlotte Hornets in 2013 when the team was called the Bobcats.
Ewing will leave Hornets Head Coach Steve Clifford’s staff immediately to get started on bringing Georgetown back to the national scene.
“He is a visionary leader with a deep connection to our community,” Georgetown’s President John J. DeGioia said. “His experience as a coach over the last 15 years with some of the best basketball minds in the country has prepared him to lead our program. We very much look forward to welcoming him back to our Hilltop as the Head Coach of our men’s basketball team.”
Ewing, who was the elder Thompson preferred choice, has a strong legacy at Georgetown as he guided the Hoyas to three Final Fours and winning the school’s only national championship in 1984. He is the Hoyas all-time leader in blocks (493), rebounds (1,316), and games played (143). Ewing is one of four players in Georgetown men’s basketball history to score at least 2,000 points.
“My four years at Georgetown were the best of my life,” Ewing said. “Georgetown is my home and it is a great honor for me to return to my alma mater and serve as the next head coach. I have been preparing to be a head coach for many years and can’t wait to return to the Hilltop.”