John Thompson III is out as head coach of the Georgetown Hoyas, a source close to the situation confirmed to CSN Mid-Atlantic Thursday afternoon. The news was first reported by Casual Hoya.
Thompson, the son of iconic Hoya head coach John Thompson Jr., took the helm in 2004 and led the Hoyas to the 2007 NCAA Tournament Final Four, but the Hoyas had failed to make a Sweet Sixteen since then and missed out on the NCAA Tournament in three of the last four seasons.
The Hoyas finished the 2016-17 season with a 14-18 record and finished 5-13 in the Big East, good enough for ninth place.
It was the Hoyas' worst finish since the 2003-04 season, when Craig Esherick led the team to a 13-14 record and 4-12 in the Big East.
JTIII had come under great scrutiny recently for the program's inability to advance past the first weekend in the NCAA Tournament. Coupled with an outdated offense and a slow decline on the recruiting trail, the 2016-17 season was a big one for the Hoyas. After beating USC Upstate in the season opener, the team blew a late lead against local rivals Maryland and then were defeated by Arkansas State at McDonough Gymnasium.
The Hoyas began the Big East schedule with four consecutive losses, but appeared to turn things around with consecutive wins over ranked Creighton and Butler teams. But the Hoyas finished the Big East regular season with six straight losses, including an embarrassing home loss to perennial Big East cellar dweller DePaul.
Before the season began, sources told CSN Mid-Atlantic that there were no plans to remove Thompson III as head coach as the program unveiled the brand new, $62 million John R. Thompson Jr. Athletic Center, named after his father. Even as the season took a turn for the disappointing, sources reiterated that the university did not intend to fire Thompson III before the beginning of the 2017-18 season.
However, a few days after the Hoyas' season came to a disappointing end, four-star point guard recruit Tremont Waters, the No. 33 recruit in the class of 2017, decommitted from the program and a week later, star forward L.J. Peak announced his intentions on entering the NBA Draft.
Thompson finished his 13-year run with a 278-151 overall record, leading the Hoyas to three Big East regular season championships, one Big East Tournament championship and the 2007 Final Four. He guided the Hoyas to eight NCAA Tournaments, finishing with an 8-8 record in March Madness.
An interesting aspect of what the university does now stems from the presence of JTIII's father, who has remained a staple at practices, games and press conferences. Georgetown has a relationship with Nike because of "Big John," with the apparel company allocating funds for the Hoyas' head coaching salary.
But with Georgetown now looking for replacements for JTIII, and source told CSN Mid-Atlantic on Thursday that several coaches have inquired about just how big of a presence the elder Thompson will have.
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