After several productive phone conversations with Georgetown University and search-firm officials over the past several days, Patrick Ewing will have a formal, face-to-face interview on Monday for the Hoyas’ head-coaching job in Washington, league sources told The Vertical.
For Ewing, the Charlotte Hornets’ associate head coach and a Hall of Fame center, this meeting could move him a step closer to returning to the program he cemented as a national power three decades ago.
The Charlotte Hornets traveled to Washington on Sunday night in preparation for a Tuesday night game against the Washington Wizards.
Ewing has been dutifully studying the vastly different job requirements of running a college program, talking with, among others, college coaches who made the jump from professional basketball backgrounds, sources told The Vertical. Ewing has been gathering information on potential assistant coaches, working to find a staff that’ll balance his inexperience in recruiting. Those who have talked with Ewing in the past week believe that he’s fully understanding of the consuming nature of big-time college recruiting and is prepared to immerse himself in it.
John Thompson Jr., the Hall of Fame coach who recruited Ewing and turned the program into a national power, has been a strong proponent of Ewing’s candidacy and made his preference known to university officials, league sources said. Georgetown fired John Thompson III after the team missed the NCAA tournament in the final two seasons of his 13-year Hoyas tenure.
Ewing has been an NBA assistant coach for 15 seasons and has increasingly become a viable NBA head-coaching candidate. Ewing has regularly coached the Hornets’ summer league team. Ewing has been an assistant under Jeff and Stan Van Gundy and Steve Clifford, and all have had significant conversations with Georgetown officials and the Korn Ferry search firm about their belief in Ewing’s potential as a head coach, league sources told The Vertical.
Ewing, 54, has long been committed to pursuing an NBA head-coaching job and was close to getting the Sacramento Kings’ job in the spring. Only the sudden availability of Dave Joerger, whom Memphis fired, stood between Ewing and a formal offer, league sources said.
Ewing was a three-time All-American for the Hoyas and a 1984 national champion. As the No. 1 overall pick in the 1985 NBA draft by the New York Knicks, Ewing’s illustrious playing career is synonymous with the start and the ultimate height of the Hoyas dynasty. Some of Ewing’s most trusted professional and personal friends encouraged him to consider the Hoyas job, including Thompson Jr.
Ewing has proven himself to be a tenacious worker and engaged tactician in the NBA.
For Georgetown, Ewing’s candidacy could represent the most opportunistic scenario to keep the school’s coaching job in the Hoyas family. Since John Thompson Jr.’s hiring in 1972, the program has had only three coaches – Thompson, Craig Esherick and John Thompson III.