John Thompson III has been fired by Georgetown after 13 years as its men’s basketball head coach, the university confirmed on Thursday.
School president John J. DeGioia informed Thompson of the decision Thursday morning.
Thompson III, who took over the program less than six years after his father left, led Georgetown to eight NCAA tournaments and one Final Four, but had slumped to two sub-.500 seasons amid crescendoing calls for his dismissal. The Hoyas went 14-18 in 2016-17 one year after finishing 15-18.
The news comes one day before a planned student protest was set to take place on campus. Some Georgetown students and alumni had signed a petition asking the university to remove Thompson III. Fans brought banners to games calling for his firing, and former players expressed concern with the direction of the program.
Thompson compiled a 278-151 record in his 13 seasons at Georgetown. Early in his tenure, progression was rapid. He turned a 19-13 first-year record into 23 wins and an NCAA tournament appearance the following season. In Year 3, the Hoyas won 30 and reached the Final Four.
Thompson III’s tenure included eight NCAA tournament bids overall, but Georgetown hasn’t reached the Sweet 16 since ’07, the year it made the Final Four.
The past decade has been littered with down years and early postseason exits. The Hoyas lost to Steph Curry and Davidson in 2008, Ohio in 2010 and VCU in 2011. They lost to N.C. State in 2012, Florida Gulf Coast in 2013 and Utah in 2015.
Georgetown immediately enters the market for a new coach. Former player Patrick Ewing, currently an assistant coach with the Charlotte Hornets, will likely be a popular name in the search for Thompson III’s successor. There have also been suggestions that Harvard coach Tommy Amaker could be a leading candidate.
More March Madness coverage from Yahoo Sports:
• Longtime Georgetown coach John Thompson III fired after 13 seasons
• LaVar Ball, Stephen A. Smith get in epic shouting match
• New coach has change of heart minutes before UMass intro
• NCAA gives state of North Carolina deadline to repeal controversial law