Aside from Ewing and Iverson, other notable names who Thompson coached include Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo and Sleepy Floyd. His son, John Thompson III, became a head coach in the program in the late 1990s, and his most famous player, Ewing, is now the head coach at Georgetown.
In the 1980s, Thompson assembled one of the greatest teams in college basketball history - a team that would reach the NCAA Championship game three times in four seasons. His cause of death had not been released as of this writing.
Former Philadelphia 76er and Hall of Famer Allen Iverson was among those paying tribute online, thanking the coach for "saving my life".
Thompson had been suffering from multiple health challenges, a family source said. "But don't worry about him, because as he always liked to say, '."Big Ace" ' is cool".
"We are heartbroken to share the news of the passing of our father, John Thompson Jr".
Dallas County reports two COVID-related deaths today
The state said there were 158,746 individuals tested from August 22-28, with 4,336 positive cases - for a 2.7% positivity rate. The McPherson County Health Department today reported four new confirmed cases of COVID-19 from Wednesday and today.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver called Thompson a "devoted mentor" who inspired many "by using his powerful voice to fight for social justice and speak out against racial inequality". He won the national coach of the year three times and also the Big East coach of year on three occasions.
In 1989 he walked off the court in protest of a league rule that he said was biased against under-privileged students. I may not change anything, and I know I'm going to upset some people.
Thompson is the patriarch of a coaching dynasty at Georgetown. Thompson coached the Georgetown Hoyas from 1972-99, per CBS News, and he led the Hoyas to a national title in 1984 with star player Patrick Ewing.