Coaching great John Thompson dies at 78

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The college basketball coaching great John Thompson of Georgetown has died.

His death was announced in a family statement Monday. No details were disclosed.

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Thompson was an 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.

One of the most celebrated and polarizing figures in his sport, Thompson took over a moribund Georgetown program in the 1970s and molded it into a perennial contender, culminating with a national title team anchored by Patrick Ewing in 1984.

At 6-foot-10, with an ever-present white towel slung over his shoulder, Thompson literally and figuratively towered over the Hoyas for decades.

He quit coaching in 1999.

John Thompson was 78.