Georgetown coaching candidates: Rick Pitino, Mike Brey among possible targets to replace Patrick Ewing


Georgetown is a program in crisis. It’s never had less-reputable standing in college basketball than right now, coming off the disastrous six-year run under its most famous basketball alum, Patrick Ewing, who was fired Thursday after six seasons at the helm of the Hoyas. 

With the page finally turned, Georgetown will find itself in a position it hasn’t been in for some time: on the receiving end of some positive attention and curiosity. For all of the basketball team’s shortcomings in the past decade, it remains a job with massive appeal, buttressed by its history and greater cultural significance in the sport. That was built by Naismith Hall of Famer John Thompson Jr.

But the Thompson connection in the head-coaching seat ends in 2023 — for the first time in five decades. Georgetown can now fill this vacancy with someone who has no ties to the Georgetown basketball family, but more specifically, Thompson’s tree. That would seem to be for the best. 

That in mind, here are six candidates the school should, and some of whom it no doubt will, seek to interview to fill the job opening created by the firing of Ewing.

Rick Pitino, Iona head coach

The biggest and most obvious name connected to this opening, as has been the case for months upon months. With no sanctions handed down on him in the Louisville IRP case from last fall, Pitino is more hirable and marketable than he’s been in a decade. He’s going to have multiple schools court him, and I expect Pitino to take a bigger job and leave Iona in the coming weeks. It’s unclear if Georgetown has Pitino atop its list, but what’s clear is that there would be no splashier hire than the man who’s coached two national title teams and, like Thompson, is in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame. He’s 707-289 as a college coach, a .710 winning percentage.

Micah Shrewsberry, Penn State head coach

Shrewsberry has a promising future in college hoops. His reputation is tremendous, and he’s in a great spot at the moment. He’s got Penn State on the rise, and so more prestigious programs will inevitably knock on his door. If it reached the stage with Georgetown where he received an offer, he’s a goner for the Hilltop. That said, he’s 33-29 in two seasons at one of the toughest jobs in the Big Ten. 

Ed Cooley, Providence head coach

The buzz around the plausibility that Cooley (334-220 for his career) would leave his hometown program has grown in the past few weeks, but we’ll see. Cooley he has a claim to being the greatest coach in Providence history. Cooley has made Providence into a near-annual NCAA Tournament outfit and done things at that school never done before, like make the NCAA Tournament in five straight years. Would he leave, only to stay in the Big East? That’s the big question. Georgetown, for many reasons, would be a place Cooley could continue to thrive as he coaches into his mid-50s. 

Jeff Capel, Pitt head coach

Capel is in his 14th year running a program, the past five with the Panthers. He’s Pitt on the bubble, but quite possibly on its way to the NCAAs for the first time since 2016. Capel (247-190 career mark) was a good coach at VCU in the 2000s, but that was admittedly a different era and at a different level and not exactly right in the heart of D.C. Still, hard to figure he wouldn’t be tempted by interest, should Georgetown have interest. And a pivot into the Big East would reset his coaching clock; Capel cooled himself in a hot-seat season by finishing fifth in the ACC and getting this team to NCAA Tournament-caliber.

Mike Brey, former Notre Dame coach

Brey was a finalist six years ago, before Ewing got the nod. He’s also a coaching free agent, and Brey has said he intends on coaching again. The 63-year-old has D.C. roots and, similar to Cooley and Pitino, has the media savvy to take on this job and inject it with the energy and positive attitude Georgetown needs right now. But Brey (582-332 career record) might be a few years too late to actually get this offer. If I’m Georgetown, I still schedule an interview. Gotta cover all the bases. 

The 41-year-old Boynton is trying to guide the Cowboys to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years; the other year was a lost cause because OSU was put on a controversial postseason ban by the NCAA. Boynton is 105-87 in his career, but his biggest selling point of any candidate listed here: He’s had huge recruiting wins, and he’s the youngest of the group. Some could argue the Hoyas need a coach who can come in and revitalize matters — and do so with a youthful approach. 

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here