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The inevitable has happened - Georgetown parts ways with Patrick Ewing

Georgetown announced Thursday that Patrick Ewing will no longer serve as the men’s head basketball coach.

This comes as no surprise. The Hoyas went 75-109 under Ewing in six seasons, including 13-50 over the past two seasons and a 2-39 record against teams in the Big East Conference over that span.

“I am very proud to be a graduate of Georgetown University. And I am very grateful to President DeGioia for giving me the opportunity to achieve my ambition to be a head basketball coach,” Ewing said in a statement following his dismissal. “It is particularly meaningful to me to be in charge of the basketball program at my alma mater. I wish the program nothing but success. I will always be a Hoya.”

As a player at Georgetown from 1981-1985, Ewing led Georgetown to its only national championship, which came in 1984. He also reached the Final Four three times, was Big East player of the year twice and was the conference defensive player of the year every season as a Hoya.

When he returned as head coach prior to the 2017-18 season, Georgetown was coming off its second straight losing season, something that had not happened since the 1972 and 1973 seasons.

Patrick Ewing and Georgetown won the school's only national title in 1984 / Photo: Georgetown Athletics

Everybody wanted this to work.

In his first season, Georgetown got slightly better, finishing .500 with a 15-15 record. In his second season, the improvement started to become noticeable as the Hoyas finished 19-14 and ended up as a 3-seed in the NIT.

Going into the 2019-20 season, expectations were that this was the year to break through to the NCAA Tournament. Instead, Georgetown finished below .500 for the first time under Ewing.

It was a magical run in 2020-21 in the Big East Tournament that was easily the highlight of Ewing’s tenure as Georgetown head coach.

Georgetown won the 2021 Big East Tournament in an empty Madison Square Garden / Photo: Georgetown Athletics

The Hoyas won four games in four days after going 9-12 in the COVID year regular season to clinch what would become Georgetown’s only NCAA Tournament berth under Ewing.

In that lone tournament game, the Hoyas surrendered 96 points to Colorado and lost by 23. The glaring issues of defending the perimeter and lack of defensive adjustments reared its head on the biggest stage and Georgetown’s run was over.

Following the run at the Big East Tournament, Ewing was awarded with a contract extension.

Since that game and Ewing’s contract extension, the Hoyas are 13-50 overall and have won 2 of the last 41 Big East games they have played.

To close out Ewing’s head coaching career at Georgetown, the Hoyas lost on Senior Day by 20 to Providence, went on the road and lost by 40 at Creighton and closed things out with a 32 point loss to Villanova in the first round of the Big East Tournament.

Patrick Ewing walks off the court at MSG for the final time as Georgetown head coach / Photo: New York Times

Less than 24 hours after the loss to Villanova, Ewing was no longer the head coach.

“Patrick Ewing is the heart of Georgetown basketball,” Georgetown President John DeGioia in a statement. “I am deeply grateful for his vision, his determination and for all that he has enabled Georgetown to achieve…we will forever be grateful to Patrick for his courage and his leadership in our Georgetown community.”

As of writing, Georgetown basketball is in the worst state it has been in at least 50 years. President DeGioia and the university leadership are tasked with the most important head coach search since John Thompson was hired before the 1972-73 season.

Of course, even for Thompson, it took three years to produce a winning season. Whoever Georgetown hires will have a mountain to climb to get the Hoyas back into a place of relevancy or even mediocrity.

In the words of the great FOX Sports reporter, John Fanta, there are some systemic things that Georgetown needs to examine.

In the hours since Ewing’s dismissal, several rumors have begun circulating on who the next head coach might be.

There will certainly be more clarity on potential candidates in the days or weeks to come, but regardless of who is hired, there is a monumental task at hand.

From on-court to off-court issues, everything has to change at Georgetown.

The Hoyas are coming off back-to-back last place finishes in the Big East for a team that has won the conference ten times, but not since 2013. The Hoyas have won 20+ games just once in the last ten seasons and have finished over .500 just three of those ten.

Most nights, Capital One Arena is barren, with little hometown support and a strong showing from opposing fans. Georgetown finished tenth in Big East attendance, just above DePaul. What was a once proud program that boasted a strong home court advantage, has become the laughing stock of the Big East and a ‘get right’ or ‘easy game’ for the rest of the conference.

‘Hoya Paranoia’ is dead and it’ll take some time to bring it back to life.

Hopefully for whoever is next they’re up to the task. This is not going to be easy.


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