Shockwaves went through the college basketball world on Thursday, as Georgetown fired John Thompson III. The son of Hall of Fame head coach John Thompson Jr., JTIII spent 13 seasons at the school, where he led the Hoyas to eight NCAA tournaments and the 2007 Final Four. However, he was dismissed after missing the tournament in three of the past four years (including a 14-18 season in 2016-17).
With Thompson out, who will be the next coach at Georgetown? Here are eight candidates:
However, Ewing’s candidacy is nuanced. Ewing clearly has ties to the elder John Thompson, and Yahoo Sports reports those ties will weigh on his decision whether to consider the job, if he is pursued. His son, Patrick Ewing Jr., was part of John Thompson’s staff this season.
Tommy Amaker (Harvard head coach)
Amaker has been through every rung of college basketball coaching ladder – from high-profile assistant, to rising star at Seton Hall, to fired at Michigan. He has been spectacular in his latest act at Harvard, leading the Crimson to four NCAA tournaments in the past six years.
Christian is a rising star in the coaching world after leading his alma mater to its second NCAA tournament in four seasons in 2017. He also knows the D.C. area well. Prior to his five years at Mount Saint Mary’s, he spent two years as an assistant with Shaka Smart at VCU.
The only catch with Christian is that he’s just 34 years old. Is it too early for a jump from the NEC to Big East?
Danny Hurley (Rhode Island head coach)
Hurley grew up in the Big East footprint while playing for his father, Bob Hurley, at famed New Jersey power St. Anthony’s High School, and then later at Seton Hall. Since then, he’s earned his own way in the coaching work, building his own New Jersey high school power at St. Benedict’s before going to Wagner and then Rhode Island.
This season, he led the Rams to their first NCAA tournament since the late 1990s, and they upset Creighton in the first round before losing to Oregon.
John Becker (Vermont head coach)
Becker won’t be Georgetown’s first call, but the Hoyas could do a lot worse. He led the Catamounts to their second NCAA tournament in six years this season after finishing with a 16-0 regular-season record in the America East Conference.
Keep in mind that Becker began his career in the Washington, D.C., area. Prior to Vermont, he coached at nearby Gallaudet University and Catholic University.
Archie Miller (Dayton head coach)
It isn’t likely, but isn’t completely impossible to imagine a scenario where Miller leaves Dayton for this job. It doesn’t look like he’ll end up at Indiana, eliminating the (most likely) last “big” landing spot for him. And the Big East – which sent seven teams to the NCAA tournament this year – is a step up from the A-10.
If Georgetown were to get him, it’d be a major coup. At age 38, Miller has already made four NCAA tournaments as a head coach, with one Elite Eight appearance.
Shaka Smart (Texas head coach)
This seems like a long shot, though there’s a good reason why Smart’s name would be considered: He won big, and did at a local school. At VCU, Smart led the Rams to five NCAA tournaments in six years, including the 2011 Final Four. He made the Big Dance in year one at Texas, before a disappointing 11-22 season finish in 2016-17.
Smart makes over $3 million per year at Texas, so it won’t be cheap to get him. And while the local ties are nice, is Georgetown a better job than Texas? Most in basketball would say no.
If the Hoyas are interested, they could consider a respected coach who rebuilt an Indiana program from the ground up, leading the Hoosiers to three Sweet 16 appearances and two Big Ten titles in the last six years. He also made the 2003 Final Four while at Marquette.