John Thompson Jr., Former Georgetown Coach & First Black Man to Win The NCAA Championship, Dead At Age 78

The world has lost another great. Former Georgetown coach John Thompson Jr. has died at age 78.



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“We are heartbroken to share the news of the passing of our father, John Thompson, Jr. Our father was an inspiration to many and devoted his life to developing young people not simply on, but most importantly, off the basketball court. He is revered as a historic shepherd of the sport, dedicated to the welfare of his community above all else. However, for us, his greatest legacy remains as a father, grandfather, uncle, and friend. More than a coach, he was our foundation. More than a legend, he was the voice in our ear everyday. We will miss him but are grounded in the assurance that we carry his faith and determination in us. We will cherish forever his strength, courage, wisdom and boldness, as well as his unfailing love. We know that he will be deeply missed by many and our family appreciates your condolences and prayers. But don’t worry about him, because as he always liked to say, ‘….”Big Ace’” is cool.”

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Thompson broke barriers in 1984 when he became the first African-American head coach to win a major collegiate championship after Patrick Ewing led the Hoyas to an NCAA Division I national championship against the Houston Cougars. He was also inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.


Once retired, Thompson became a TV and radio sports commentator.


While we don’t have word on his cause of death yet, our condolences go out to all of Coach Thompson’s loved ones during this time.


For More on Greats That We’ve Lost This Year:

Gone Too Soon: Andre Harrell, The Music Giant That Built Hip-Hop in The 90s, Dies At Age 59

“Mamba Mentality”- More Than Just a Saying


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