This Day in Black History: April 2, 1984

John Thompson, of Georgetown University, became the first Black coach to win the NCAA basketball tournament.

Posted: 04/02/2013 08:00 AM EDT

John Thompson made college men's basketball history when he led the Georgetown University Hoyas to win the NCAA basketball tournament on April 2, 1984. Thompson is the first African-American coach to win a collegiate championship. 

Before coaching Georgetown, Thompson played for the Boston Celtics for two years, but had a lackluster career in the NBA. His time served as coach proved more fruitful after he took on the floundering Hoyas and improved the team's record. Within three seasons, the Hoyas landed an NCAA spot. Over his 27-year career, the team made it to the postseason 24 times. Among his players that went on to star in the NBA are Patrick Ewing, Sleepy Floyd, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo and Allen Iverson.

Thompson also coached the U.S. team at the 1988 Summer Olympics and they went on to win the bronze medal. After his resignation on Jan. 8, 1999, Thompson was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and served as a commentator for ESPN.

His son, John Thompson III, currently serves as coach for the Georgetown Hoyas.

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(Photo: The Post-Standard /Landov)

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