Georgetown University fired basketball head coach Patrick Ewing after going 75-109 over six seasons at the school he led to an NCAA championship as a player in the early 1980s.
Their last game was an 80-48 loss to Villanova on Wednesday night. in the first round of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden, the stadium where Ewing was a star for the NBA’s New York Knicks for so many years.
“People could call me ‘the greatest Hoya of all time,’ but as you know, if I don’t win, there will be another coach here sooner or later,” Ewing said in 2017.
‘Every coach knows, as soon as… you dot the I’s and cross the T’s, the writing is on the wall. At some point in your career, they’re going to let you go. Such is life in training.’
In a statement included with the news release about the trade, school president Jack DeGioia called Ewing “the heart of Georgetown basketball” and described him as “relentless in his dedication to his team and the youth he coached.” “.
Georgetown head coach Patrick Ewing was fired today after six seasons in charge of the Hoyas.
Ewing’s last game will be an 80-48 loss to Villanova in the Big East Tournament.
Meanwhile, Ewing thanked DeGioia “for giving me the opportunity to achieve my ambition to be a head basketball coach,” adding: “I wish the program nothing but success. I will always be a Hoya.
Georgetown was 7-25 this season, including 2-18 in regular-season conference play, a schedule capped by a 40-point loss to Creighton.
Ewing presided over a 29-game losing streak in the Big East that began in March 2021 and ended this January, the most in league history.
The last two seasons were particularly bad: The Hoyas won a combined 13 games and lost 50, a .206 winning percentage.
Ewing’s tenure included just one winning season, zero March Madness wins, and just one NCAA Tournament appearance.
It’s a far cry from the kind of success Georgetown enjoyed when the 7-foot Ewing patrolled the paint as an intimidating, shot-blocking force in center decades ago.
During his four years in the uniform under coach John Thompson Jr., Georgetown went 121-23, won the 1984 NCAA title, and appeared in the championship game two other times.
Ewing became the No. 1 overall pick after the first NBA draft lottery and shone as a professional, primarily for the Knicks.
Ewing starred in Georgetown from 1981 to 1985, where he won an NCAA national championship.
Ewing receiving an award with Georgetown coach John Thompson(R) in 1984
‘As successful as I was as a player,’ Ewing said when he was hired to succeed Thompson’s son, John III, as the Hoyas’ coach after 15 years as an NBA assistant, ‘that’s how successful I want to be as a coach. .
It didn’t work that way. Not even close.
He started off, promisingly enough, going 8-0. What followed was a harbinger of things to come: Georgetown faded to 15-15 that season, a first-round loss in the Big East tournament and no postseason invite.
During Ewing’s time in charge, a wave of transfers drove talent away from Georgetown, while strong defense, a hallmark of his teams when on the court, was rare.
The undisputed highlight of his return to the Hilltop was the 2021 conference tournament at his old MSG home ground.
The Hoyas had an astonishing four wins in a span of four days to win that title and the automatic NCAA berth that went with it; Colorado outscored them by 23 points in their first Big Dance game.
A year later, with Georgetown on pace to sink to 6-25, breaking a mark that had stood for half a century and setting a school record for most men’s rim losses in a season, repeated this season . Director Lee Reed offered a public show of support for Ewing.
Last offseason, all three of Ewing’s assistant coaches were replaced and several new players were brought in, but that didn’t help matters. And the already buzzing speculation about Ewing’s future only grew louder as this season fell apart.
Ewing was best known for starring with the New York Knicks during his Hall of Fame career.
In January, Reed responded to an interview request by issuing a statement to The Associated Press in which he called Ewing’s tenure a “challenging and frustrating time.” Reed also said then that Ewing “understands that it’s imperative to get the program back on track.”
Hours later, with DeGioia assisting, the Hoyas lost to Villanova, their record-setting 25th straight Big East loss.
“My future is my future,” Ewing said after that loss. ‘I will be the head coach at Georgetown until the president or the board decide for me to leave. … You know, a friend of mine sent me a quote today: ‘It’s not how many times you get knocked down; is how many times you get up. They knocked us down, so all we’re going to do is keep getting up.’
Another loss to the Wildcats would become Ewing’s last game at his alma mater. Less than 24 hours later, Reed announced, “We will immediately launch a national search for our next coach.”