Former Georgetown head basketball coach John Thompson died early this morning, He was 78.
Thompson became the first African-American head coach to win an DI Men’s Basketball National Championship when his Hoyas won it all in 1984. Durng his tenure at Georgetown, he went 596-239 (.714), and coached greats such as Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo, and Allen Iverson.
The 6’10 Thompson starred as a player at Providence College (1961-64), and was a third round pick by the Boston Celtics in the 1964 NBA Draft. During his time with the Celtics, he won two NBA Championships, serving as a back-up to Bill Russell. Following his playing career, he became the head coach at St. Anthony HS in DC, where he spent six seasons (128-22) before departing for Georgetown.
While at Georgetown, Thompson captured three Big East Coach of the Year Awards (1980, 1987, 1992). and was named as the NABC Coach of the Year in 1995. He also lead Team USA to a bronze medal in the 1988 Olympics.
There is no information yet on a cause of death or when a memorial service will occur.