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John Thompson Jr.

March 23, 2012

  • First African-American President of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (1985-86)
  • First African-American Division I Basketball Coach of the Year (USBWA-1982) (NABS-1985) (UPI-1986-87)
  • First African-American Basketball Coach in the Big East Conference (1979-80)
  • First African-American Big East Coach of the Year (1980)

Basketball Hall of Famer John Thompson's name is synonymous with success, as is the program he built at Georgetown University. Thompson established a program that had 24 consecutive postseason appearances, an overall record of 596-239 under his leadership and a 97 percent graduation rate; a program which continues its success today. His teams won a National Championship (1984), appeared in three Final Fours (1982, 1984, and 1985) and played in 20 NCAA Tournaments, 14 appearances being consecutive.  

Thompson was the first African-American basketball coach in the Big East Conference (1979-80) and the first African-American Big East Coach of the Year (1980, 1987, and 1992). Thompson was also the First African-American Division I Basketball Coach of the Year, which he was named a total of seven times throughout his career. He was also the 1988 Olympic Head Coach in Men's Basketball for the USA, where his team captured a bronze medal in Seoul.

A major figure in and out of the coaching profession, Thompson is a past president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, serving as the first African-American president of the organization and has served on their board of directors. He is a trustee of the Basketball Hall of Fame and has been a consultant and spokesman for Nike, where he is a member of its board of directors.

Thompson graduated from Providence College, where he was a standout on the basketball team, being named “New England Player of the Year” and leading the Friars to the NIT Championship in 1963. He also holds a degree in guidance and counseling from the University of the District of Columbia and has received honorary degrees from Georgetown, St. Peter's College, Wheeling College and most recently from the University of the District of Columbia. Thompson holds the titles of Coach Emeritus and Presidential Consultant for Urban Affairs at Georgetown and has received the two highest awards which Georgetown University can confer: the President's Award and the Patrick Healy Award.