Let’s get this out of the way. Talking about the Georgetown head coaching situation has become uncomfortable lately. Parts of the fanbase are eager for a change, while still understanding the awkwardness that would come with said change, for obvious reasons. There might be a solution.
If Georgetown has another sub-.500 season, they may have no choice but a head coaching change. It would be the first time the Hoyas had back to back losing seasons since the final two seasons under John Magee (1970-71, 71-72). After the 71-72 season the Hoyas hired John Thompson, Jr. and the rest is history. Of course, since Big John retired, only two men have coached the Hoyas, Craig Esherick and John Thompson III.
That second name is notable, obviously, because John Thompson III is the son of John Thompson, Jr. Georgetown just opened a new practice facility bearing the elder Thompson’s name and he’s still very involved with the program. It’s likely the most unique/awkward coaching situation in college basketball.
Given the sensitive nature of the relationship, Georgetown’s next coach needs to be someone with ties to Thompson, Jr. and the program itself. With that being said, the best possible solution may be a relatively unlikely one: Georgetown legend and Basketball Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing.
It’s not that crazy, right? St. John’s hired Chris Mullin and he had never coached at the collegiate or pro level in his life. Ewing has been an NBA assistant since he retired in 2001. He’s been rumored for, seemingly, every NBA head coaching job open since 2008. Clearly people think highly of him.
The biggest difference between the NBA and college basketball coaching ranks is the recruiting aspect, of course. Ewing would have to load up on high-caliber recruiting assistant coaches, like Mullin did with Matt Abdelmassih, as he learns the ins and outs. Georgetown sits in a recruiting rich area, and they need a coach that can get the players in the area to stay in the area. Ewing’s success as a player and NBA coach would make him a popular hire amongst the Hoya fanbase.
Obviously the hope is that Georgetown turns this season around and has a nice NCAA Tournament run. But that looks less and less likely by the day. The Hoyas risk a revolt amongst the fanbase if they don’t make changes after another substandard season, and they risk another revolt if they don’t knock the next hire out of the park. Accounting for all factors, Patrick Ewing may be the best, if not the only, option.