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Coach Thompson is best known for coaching the Georgetown Hoyas, however he also played college and professional basketball. He graduated from Providence as the school leader in points, scoring average, and field goal percentage, and second in rebounds. He played two years in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Boston Celtics in 1964-1966.
Thompson, an imposing figure on the sidelines who towered over many opposing coaches (and players, for that matter), was often noted for the trademark towel that he carried on his shoulder during the games. He joined Georgetown as their head coach in 1972. Over the following 27 years, Thompson's Hoyas went 596-239 (.714), running off a streak of 24 postseason appearances - 24 in the NCAA tournament, four in the NIT - including a 14-year streak of NCAA appearances from 1979-1992 that saw three Final Four appearances in 1982, 1984 and 1985, winning a National Championship in 1984 and narrowly missing a repeat the next year by losing to underdog Villanova.
Thompson has held conference records for most overall Big East wins (231), most regular-season Big East wins (198) and conference championships (seven regular season, six tournaments). He won seven Coach of the Year awards: Big East (1980, 1987, 1992), United States Basketball Writers Association and The Sporting News (1984), National Association of Basketball Coaches (1985) and United Press International (1987).
Thompson retired on January 8, 1999. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame on October 1, 1999. After retiring Thompson continued to be active in basketball as a commentator for both professional (mainly for TNT) and collegiate games. He has hosted The John Thompson Show, a sports talk show on SportsTalk 980 (WTEM-AM) in Washington, D.C.
Thompson has also served as "coach emeritus" position assisting on academic, athletic, and community projects.
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