John Thompson, the imposing Hall of Famer who turned Georgetown into a “Hoya Paranoia” powerhouse and became the first Black coach to lead a team to the NCAA men’s basketball championship, has died. He was 78.
His death was announced in a family statement Monday. No details were disclosed.
“More than a legend, he was the voice in our ear everyday,” the statement said. “We will miss him but are grounded in the assurance that we carry his faith and determination in us.”
Before beginning his legendary coaching career, Thompson played basketball at Providence College. After he was drafted by the Celtics in the third round of the 1964 draft, he served as the backup center to Bill Russell for two seasons.