Really, I'm going to talk about the baseball team any day now. But I had a thought as I watched the waning minutes of Georgetown's overtime win over North Carolina in the East Regional final. JTIII became the first son of a Final Four coach to reach the Final Four as a head coach. This has some tenuous IU connection because of Pat Knight's position on the IU staff during his father's last few years at IU. As you may know, Pat has a contract with Texas Tech that provides that he will succeed his father as Tech's head coach. It seems to me that it was always going to end badly for Knight at IU, even if he had retired of his own volition, because he would have tried to install Pat as the successor and many IU fans would have resisted. For Texas Tech, which has never been as prominent as in the last few years, it's probably a small price to pay.
This arrangement seems to have become more popular in recent years. Sean Sutton succeeded Eddie Sutton at Oklahoma State. Keno Davis will take over for his father, Tom Davis, at Drake next season. Tony Bennett had an outstanding season in his first season after taking over for his father, Dick Bennett, at Washington State. Murry Bartow unsuccessfully followed his father at UAB and Joey Meyer did the same at DePaul.
What seems to separate JTIII from those above is that unlike most of the current batch of successor, JTIII didn't develop under his father's wing. He attended college and coached at Princeton, both as an assistant and as a head coach. Certainly, being named "John Thompson" probably has opened some doors for the current Georgetown coach, and certainly a confidante like the elder John Thompson would be a nice resource for any young coach. And it may all be a coincidence. Perhaps Tony Benett, Sean Sutton, and Pat Knight will all become elite coaches. Still, I think it is interesting that the first second generation Final Four coach did not follow the typical "favorite son" path.