John R. Thompson

When John Thompson stepped into the head coaching position at Georgetown University in 1972, he notified his team, which had compiled an anemic 3-23 record the previous year, that one day Georgetown would be national champions. The combination of Thompson’s strong will and his even stronger commitment to his players' lives off the basketball court helped him achieve his goal when in 1984 the Hoyas rattled off six straight wins in the NCAA Tournament. In 27 years at Georgetown, Thompson won nearly 600 games. Thompson's teams made 24 consecutive postseason appearances (19 NCAA, 5 NIT) and won seven Big East tournament championships. Even more impressive was the fact that 75 of his 77 players who remained all four years received degrees and 26 of his players were drafted in the NBA, including Patrick Ewing who was the NBA’s first lottery pick in 1985. Thompson, himself 6’10”, knew a great big man when he saw one and the list of centers that served under him includes Ewing, Dikembe Mutombo, and Alonzo Mourning.