John Thompson, the Hall of Fame college basketball head coach who led a dominant Georgetown team in the 1980s, died Monday, according to multiple reports. He was 78.
There was no immediate cause of death announced. WJLA-TV reported that Thompson had died, citing family and friends.
Despite being drafted in the third round by the Boston Celtics in 1964, his NBA career only lasted about two seasons. Thompson was mostly known for putting together dominant Hoyas teams, which included players like Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning and Allen Iverson.
Thompson led Georgetown to a national championship in 1984 with a nine-point victory over Houston.
Tributes to Thompson poured in over social media.
While his exploits on the basketball court are well known, it was some incidents that didn’t have to do with basketball that made him a legendary coach.
Thompson reportedly confronted a drug kingpin who was connected to several players on the team in the 1980s. In 1989, he walked off the court in protest before a basketball game over the NCAA-backed bill which would have barred scholarship athletes from playing their freshman years if they didn’t qualify academically.
Thompson resigned from coaching in 1999. He would later be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Thompson’s son John Thompson III took the reins from his father until 2017. Ronny Thompson, his younger son, was the head coach at Ball State from 2006 to 2007.