Sources: Georgetown to consider Patrick Ewing for head-coaching position

Georgetown officials plan to consider the head-coaching candidacy of the university’s most legendary basketball alumnus, Patrick Ewing, sources told The Vertical.

Ewing, the associate head coach of the Charlotte Hornets, has been an NBA assistant coach for 15 seasons and has increasingly become a viable NBA head-coaching candidate.

The firing of John Thompson III creates a complicated scenario for Ewing. His son, Patrick Ewing Jr., was a member of the Hoyas’ coaching staff, and Ewing has been a fiercely loyal supporter of Thompson and his father, John Thompson. Ewing was emotional over Thompson’s dismissal on Thursday, sources who spoke to him told The Vertical, and appeared to be immediately undecided about his desire to become involved in the Georgetown search process as a candidate.

Patrick Ewing won a national title playing for the Hoyas in 1984. (AP)
Patrick Ewing won a national title playing for the Hoyas in 1984. (AP)

Ewing, 54, has long been committed to pursuing an NBA head-coaching job and moved closer to getting one with the Sacramento Kings in the spring. Only the sudden availability of Dave Joerger, whom Memphis fired, stood between Ewing and a formal offer, league sources said.

Nevertheless, Ewing’s peerless history and relationship with Georgetown could amend his past indifference to engaging in a college opening. Ewing was a three-time All-American for the Hoyas and a 1984 national champion. As the No. 1 overall pick in the 1985 NBA draft to the New York Knicks, Ewing’s illustrious playing career is synonymous with the start and ultimate height of the Hoyas’ rise to prominence. Some of Ewing’s most trusted professional and personal friends are beginning to encourage him to consider the job and have already started brainstorming candidates to create an elite college coaching staff to surround and support him, sources told The Vertical.

The opportunity to work with his son could be intriguing to Ewing, too. Ewing’s experience with recruiting is limited to his own in the late 1970s, when he had been one of the most fiercely sought after prospects in modern college basketball history. Nevertheless, Ewing has proven himself to be a tenacious worker and engaged tactician in the NBA as part of staffs with Steve Clifford, Jeff Van Gundy and Stan Van Gundy.

For Georgetown, Ewing’s candidacy could represent the most opportunistic scenario to keep the school’s coaching job in the Hoyas’ family. Since John Thompson’s hiring in 1972, the program has had only three coaches – Thompson, Craig Esherick and John Thompson III.

The elder Thompson holds tremendous influence over the athletic department, and most believe that it will be hard to succeed at Georgetown without the Hall of Fame coach’s support. Whether Thompson would support Ewing – or any candidate to replace his son is unclear – but most connected to Ewing doubt that Thompson would ever sabotage Ewing, who considers Thompson to be a second father.

Georgetown, a member of the Big East Conference, has slipped into mediocrity in recent years.

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