John Thompson III is out as head coach at Georgetown after missing the NCAA tournament in a second straight losing season, the program has announced. The news was broken by SB Nation’s Georgetown community Casual Hoya.
Thompson III took the reigns of the program in 2004 after Craig Esherick only managed one tournament appearance in six seasons. This felt like a homecoming for Georgetown’s prodigal son. Esherick took the job from John Thompson Jr., who coached the Hoyas to their only title in 1984 and is Thompson III’s dad.
In the 13 seasons since taking the helm, Thompson III guided the Hoyas to the NCAA tournament eight times. His most memorable run came with the 2007 Hoyas, that featured Roy Hibbert, Jeff Green, Jonathan Wallace, and DaJuan Summers. Thompson III coached that cast of stars to a Final Four.
The next season, Georgetown fell prey to Steph Curry’s March Madness run with Davidson and hasn’t made it past the tournament’s first weekend since. Thompson III’s last appearance in the tournament came in 2015, when they lost to Utah in the Round of 32. After that came a 15-18 season in 2016 and the Hoyas finished with a 14-18 record this season.
Thompson III released the following statement:
I am honored to have been the Head Coach at Georgetown University for the past 13 years, where I had the privilege of coaching and mentoring outstanding student-athletes. I am proud of what my players have accomplished on the court and how they are thriving since leaving Georgetown.
I have been fortunate to work for a dynamic forward-thinking President, Jack DeGioia, whose guidance and unwavering support I cherish. I would also like to thank Athletic Director, Lee Reed, for his strong and public affirmation, particularly during difficult times.
I am grateful to the fans of Georgetown for their tremendous support. Georgetown Basketball has been a part of my life since 1972, which makes this moment even more impactful but I look forward to my next chapter.
Georgetown’s firing of Thompson III will probably have some effects on its relationship with his father. When you think of Georgetown and Big East basketball, it evokes images of John Thompson Jr. on the sidelines and many former players have stayed loyal to the legendary coach. This firing definitely threw an awkward wrench in this decades-long relationship.
Now that Thompson III is out, it will be interesting to see how alumni react to the news, as well as recruiting ramifications. L.J. Peak declared for the NBA draft prior to the firing, forgoing his senior season, and will sign with an agent.
Keep an eye out on this job, as the Thompson’s have done well to keep the program out of trouble and Georgetown is still an attractive job in a basketball-focused conference.