Georgetown is turning to a former star to resurrect its basketball program.
The school hired Patrick Ewing on Monday to replace John Thompson III, the son of Ewing’s former coach with the Hoyas, John Thompson Jr. Georgetown went 14-18 this season, including 5-13 in the Big East.
Ewing currently is an associated head coach with the Hornets.
Here is his official statement:
“My four years at Georgetown were the best of my life,” Ewing said in a statement released by the school. “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.”
The 54-year-old Ewing led Georgetown to three national championship game appearances from 1982-85 and to one title. He later had a Hall of Fame career in the NBA — mostly with the Knicks.
Here’s an excerpt from 30 for 30’s “Requiem for the Big East” on how Ewing put Georgetown on the map:
Here are some nifty Ewing stats:
Patrick Ewing is 1 of 9 current D-I head coaches to have won a national title as a player and the only such coach at helm of his alma mater. pic.twitter.com/zilPqNMK6k
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 3, 2017
Georgetown has a new head coach!
Patrick Ewing is 1 of 25 players to have appeared in 3 National Title Games when he played at Georgetown. pic.twitter.com/ueACrByWhU
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 3, 2017
CBS Sports’ Chip Patterson says the hire is win for both sides:
Here’s a taste of some social-media reaction to the news:
— Georgetown Hoyas (@GeorgetownHoyas) April 3, 2017
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) April 3, 2017
Without his mentorship, I would have not succeed in @nba. He is a great coach, brother, and mentor. And Hall Of Fame. He will be a great Coach @GeorgetownUniversity. That is my Opinion @nbacares @hoophall @nba @espn_nba_basketball @houstonrockets @tmac213 @yao @dofficialmutombo #55 #dikembemutombofoundation #biambamariemutombohospital
Patrick Ewing is one of the best basketball minds I've ever covered. He is ready for this.
— Howard Megdal (@howardmegdal) April 3, 2017
— Mark Jackson (@MarkJackson13) April 3, 2017
Wow for the Big East. Ewing vs. Mullin twice a year. https://t.co/MYHoKzkHye
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) April 3, 2017
The new Big East is becoming the old Big East. And that's a beautiful thing. https://t.co/WLIJBzbE1K
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 3, 2017
Patrick Ewing, a Hall of Famer, could have retired to an estate in Jamaica. Instead, he is a coaching lifer. That tells you something.
— Fran Fraschilla (@franfraschilla) April 3, 2017
Great day for Georgetown and Patrick Ewing fans in general … bittersweet day for those rooting for Ewing to get an NBA head coaching shot.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) April 3, 2017
It's fine to criticize Georgetown's hire, but let's not act like Patrick Ewing, an NBA assistant the past 15 years, lacks qualifications.
— Craig Meyer (@CraigMeyerPG) April 3, 2017
Patrick Ewing is a desperate hire and you can see the G’Town blog trying to talk themselves into it.
— Dave White (@Dave_White) April 3, 2017
As a first time HC Ewing's assistant coaches will be important, so I think he should hire Allen Iverson, Alonzo Mourning, & Dikembe Mutombo
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger_sherman) April 3, 2017
Happy that he got that specific job, but lame that Ewing had to go to college after doing the work as an assistant in the NBA
— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) April 3, 2017
Jeff Van Gundy, who coach Ewing with the Knicks, told The Vertical not to underestimate Ewing:
“Patrick has such great reverence for Coach [John] Thompson and all he did for him — as well as all the other coaches he played for and worked under. But people would be underestimating Patrick if they felt he was going to try to completely emulate anyone else as a head coach. He’s going to be his own man. Very few who have been a top-50 player of all time has ever invested more into a second career than Patrick has into coaching. Because of that work ethic and his understanding of the craft, he’s not going into it alone. He’s going to work together with his staff and players and the coaches of players of prospective players. He’s going to be very inclusive. It’s going to serve him well. His personality has been misunderstood for so long that I can’t get wait for him to show the masses his humor and intelligence and his core values when it comes to leadership.”
SB Nation’s alleninxis is skeptical of the hire but ready to give it a chance:
Was it the first choice for the school, myself or the readers here? Likely not. But that doesn’t mean this isn’t something to get excited about and fully support. There are enough people who truly want to see him succeed. … Somehow most arrive at the point where they’re skeptical of Patrick’s work ethic and desire to recruit. He has to prove it, but why would we not give Patrick the benefit of the doubt? Did anyone see the way he played? Watched the way he attacked his new career? He turned down millions at a young age to stay in school and get his degree for his mother. He has always stuck to a process. People have doubted him at every stop and all he does is continue to work.
What do you think? Did Georgetown make the right decision hiring Ewing?