Georgetown fires head coach Patrick Ewing after 6 seasons

Georgetown Hoyas head coach Patrick Ewing walks the court during a timeout in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Villanova during the first round of the Big East conference tournament, Wednesday, March 8, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Georgetown went a combined 13-50 with a 2-37 record in the Big East over the past two seasons under head coach Patrick Ewing. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Patrick Ewing’s time as the head coach at Georgetown has come to an end.

Ewing, the legendary Georgetown big man who had a Hall of Fame career as a player, was fired Thursday. The university’s decision came a day after Ewing’s sixth season coaching his alma mater came to a close.

The Hoyas were blown out by Villanova 80-48 in the first round of the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden to fall to 7-25 on the year. It marked the second consecutive season that Ewing’s program failed to crack 10 wins.

Georgetown went 6-25 in 2022 and went the entire season without winning a game in Big East play, posting an 0-19 record against conference competition. That losing streak carried into the 2023 season and reached 29 consecutive regular-season Big East losses before it was snapped with a home win over DePaul on Jan. 24. The Hoyas posted another win, this time at Butler on Feb. 19, but would go on to finish with a 2-18 Big East record.

"Patrick Ewing is the heart of Georgetown basketball. I am deeply grateful to Coach Ewing for his vision, his determination and for all that he has enabled Georgetown to achieve. Over these past six years, he was tireless in his dedication to his team and the young men he coached and we will forever be grateful to Patrick for his courage and his leadership in our Georgetown community," Georgetown president John J. DeGiola said.

Ewing’s record as Georgetown head coach fell to 75-109 overall with Wednesday's loss in New York. The high marks of his tenure were a 19-14 record and an NIT appearance in 2019 and a remarkable run through the Big East tournament in 2021 to clinch an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament. The Hoyas then lost to Colorado in the first round to finish the year with a 13-13 record.

In the two seasons since that NCAA tournament appearance, Georgetown went a combined 13-50 with a 2-37 record in the Big East.

With those struggles, the school’s decision-makers had to move on from the beloved Ewing, who won a national championship as a player under legendary head coach John Thompson back in 1984.

After starring at Georgetown, Ewing had a 17-year NBA career, mainly with the New York Knicks. He was an 11-time NBA All-Star who went on to spend 15 years as an NBA assistant before landing the head-coaching job at Georgetown, replacing John Thompson III.

Georgetown was stuck in a period of mediocrity under Thompson III, but got only worse under Ewing’s watch. The Hoyas have reached the NCAA tournament, finished in the top half of the Big East and had a winning record just once in the past eight seasons. Additionally, the Hoyas haven’t gotten past the second round of the NCAA tournament since 2007.

"I am very proud to be a graduate of Georgetown University. And I am very grateful to President DeGiola for giving me the opportunity to achieve my ambition to be a head basketball coach. It is particularly meaningful to me to be in charge of the basketball program at my alma mater. I wish the program nothing but success. I will always be a Hoya," Ewing said.

Now a proud program once accustomed to winning at the highest levels will be looking for a new head coach. Georgetown athletic director Lee Reed said a national search for the program's next head coach will begin immediately.

"It has been a privilege to work with Patrick over these past years and I deeply appreciate all of his hard work and efforts to support our student-athletes and the men's basketball program," Reed said.