Georgetown University basketball legend Patrick Ewing will return to coach the team he led to a national championship as a player in 1984, a source confirmed to NBC Sports.
Ewing replaces John Thompson III, whose father coached Ewing from 1981 to 1985. They took Georgetown to the national championship game three times in four years together, winning the title with a victory over the University of Houston in 1984. That year, Ewing won an Olympic gold medal with the men's national team.
"My four years at Georgetown were the best of my life," Ewing said in a statement. "Georgetown is my home and it is a great honor for me to return to my alma mater and serve as the next head coach. I have been preparing to be a head coach for many years and can't wait to return to the Hilltop."
He was the college player of the year in 1985.
Ewing had a Hall of Fame career in the NBA. He was drafted first overall by the New York Knicks and was named Rookie of the Year. He played 15 years in New York followed by one season in Seattle and one season in Orlando.
Ewing has served as an assistant coach in the NBA with Houston, Orlando and Charlotte. He is leaving his position with Charlotte immediately to join the Georgetown program.
“Whenever someone that you care about, someone that you’re close with, gets an opportunity like that, it’d be petty to not feel anything but great,” Charlotte Hornets head coach Steve Clifford said.
He was an NBA All-Star 11 times and won a second Olympic gold medal as a member of the first Dream Team in 1992.
John Thompson III coached Georgetown for 13 years, leading them to the NCAA tournament eight times and the Final Four in 2007, but the team is coming off consecutive losing seasons and failed to make the NCAA tournament in three of the past four seasons.