John Thompson Jr., who built the Georgetown basketball program into national champions, has died at the age of 78.
Thompson led the Hoyas to the 1984 national championship as well as three Final Fours.
His teams won seven Big East titles and he also coached the 1988 United States national team to a bronze medal in the Olympics.
Thompson was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999.
Thompson attended Providence College and was chosen in the third round of the 1964 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics. Thompson was used as a backup to Bill Russell but won championships with the franchise in 1965 and ’66.
Thompson became head coach at the prestigious St. Anthony Catholic School in Washington in 1966. He was 122-28 during his six-year prep coaching career before Georgetown hired him in 1972. He Thompson resigned midway through the 1998-99 season due to problems in his marriage.
Thompson finished with a career record of 596-239.
Two of his greatest players at Georgetown were Patrick Ewing and Allen Iverson.
John Thompson passed away last night.
He was the first Black coach to win a NCAA title.
He won two as a player w the Celtics.
He had a 97% graduation rate for his players at Georgetown.
Here is Allen Iverson thanking John for saving his life.🌎🏀💔 pic.twitter.com/QY88pOWeHC
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) August 31, 2020
Thanks For Saving My Life Coach. I’m going to miss you, but I’m sure that you are looking down on us with a big smile. I would give anything just for one more phone call from you only to hear you say, “Hey MF”, then we would talk about everything except basketball……. pic.twitter.com/03yj4gZv5q
— Allen Iverson (@alleniverson) August 31, 2020
Thompson’s survivors include his sons, John Thompson III and Ronny Thompson, and daughter Tiffany Thompson.
– 1st African-American head coach to win a major collegiate championship in 1984
– 3 NCAA Final Fours
– 3x National Coach of the Year
– 7 Big East Tournament Championships
– Coached Hall of Famers Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo & Allen Iverson.
RIP John Thompson pic.twitter.com/XBqICBr99D
— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) August 31, 2020
Coach John Thompson passed away last night. The Hall of Fame coach was a life changer for so many. He was a great coach who built some of the best college teams of all time. His players were a who’s who of college basketball. Truly an icon in his time.
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) August 31, 2020
Very sad news to wake up to on this cloudy morning. Our legendary Georgetown coach, John Thompson has passed away. He was my mentor, great teacher, hero and a father figure to so many us who got the chance to play… https://t.co/wLPCprJ6gO
— Dikembe Mutombo (@officialmutombo) August 31, 2020
This year just keep getting worse!!
RIP COACH JOHN THOMPSON. I was honored to have the opportunity to pick your brain and learn from you while in DC. You had the look of intimidation and focus but had the mindset of a wise man. You’re a legend and will truly be missed!!
— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) August 31, 2020
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued the following statement today regarding the passing of John Thompson pic.twitter.com/fg4CBbkO6B
— NBA (@NBA) August 31, 2020