Ball State hires Thompson, son of Hoyas' legend

MUNCIE, Ind. -- Ronny Thompson wants to get Ball State running in the image of his father's old uptempo Georgetown Hoyas.

The Arkansas assistant was hired Tuesday as the Cardinals' basketball coach, the second son of Hall of Fame coach John Thompson to take over a Division I team.

"I would be naive to think that it's not going to be heavily influenced by a lot of things he's taught me," Ronny Thompson said of modeling his coaching style after his father.

"Ideally, I do want to play an up-tempo style, I do want to get up and down the court," he said, "but a lot of that is contingent on the horses that are in the stable, so to speak."

It's the first head coaching job for Ronny Thompson, who played for his father and then was an assistant under him for five years at Georgetown. His older brother, John Thompson III, is now the Hoyas coach.

"Everything I've done up to this point has prepared me for this job," Ronny Thompson said at a news conference at Worthen Arena, where his wife, Erica, their two young children, his father, brother and other family members were also in the audience.

Thompson replaces Tim Buckley, who was fired last month after a 10-18 season, the Cardinals' worst record in nearly two decades. Thompson said he was contacted by Ball State athletic director Tom Collins and, after numerous conversations over the past few weeks, accepting the job with the Mid-American Conference school was "a no-brainer."

"It's going to take time, it's going to take hard work and it's not going to be easy," Thompson said. "I want to win, and I want to win big."

Buckley was 143-139 in six seasons at Ball State. He was reassigned in the athletic department after the Cardinals suffered their third losing season in the past four years.

Thompson's brother just completed his second season at Georgetown, where he led the Hoyas to the NCAA regional semifinals.

Ronny Thompson, who turns 37 on Friday, played at Georgetown in 1989-92 and worked on Wall Street before going into coaching. He was an assistant at Oregon and Loyola then was a scout for the Philadelphia 76ers in 1996-98 before returning to Georgetown as an assistant to his father.

"I haven't encouraged him to try to be like me," John Thompson said. "I think he has some ideas, hopefully that have come from me, but I also feel he has some things that he knows he has to do the way he wants to do."