Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim out after 47 seasons

Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim out after 47 seasons
Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim out after 47 seasons

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PTI reflects on Jim Boeheim’s legacy at Syracuse

Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser reflect on their relationship with Jim Boeheim over the years.

After 47 seasons, Hall of Famer Jim Boeheim will not return as Syracuse men’s basketball coach, it was announced Wednesday.

Just hours after the Orange lost 77-74 to Wake Forest on a 3-pointer in the ACC Tournament, Syracuse announced that associate head coach Adrian Autry, who has been on the staff since 2011, would be promoted to replace the 78-year-old Boeheim.

“There is no doubt in my mind that without Jim Boeheim, Syracuse basketball would not be the powerhouse program it is today,” Chancellor Kent Syverud said in a statement. “Jim has invested and dedicated most of his life to building this program, cultivating generations of student-athletes and representing his alma mater with pride and distinction. I offer my deepest gratitude to an alumnus who exemplifies what it means to be ‘Forever Orange.'”

After Wednesday’s loss, Boeheim indicated he would retire, but he said it was up to the university to decide its future.

“As I’ve said from day one when I started working here, the university hired me and it’s their choice what they want to do,” Boeheim said. “I always have the choice to retire, but it’s their decision whether I train or not. It always has been.

“… I’ve just been lucky to be able to train this long.”

Added Boeheim later: “I gave my retirement speech last week and nobody picked up on it.”

The timing of Syracuse’s announcement that Autry, a former player under Boeheim, would take over the program was not set until Wednesday, sources told ESPN’s Pete Thamel.

Boeheim has an official coaching record of 1,015-441 during his career – with 101 wins being vacated due to NCAA rules violations between 2004 and 2007 and 2010 to 2012 that resulted in sanctions. Retired Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski holds the Division I career record with 1,202 victories, with Boeheim tied for second with both totals.

He took Syracuse to the NCAA Tournament on 35 occasions and advanced to the Final Four in five of those trips – winning the national title in 2003. He has 58 official NCAA Tournament victories, which is fourth all-time.

“I’ve been very fortunate to be able to coach my college team, play and then become an assistant coach and then a head coach, without having to leave Syracuse,” Boeheim said Wednesday. “It’s a great university. The town has embraced our team. I’m amazed that we’ve been able to draw the fans that we’ve been able to draw over the years.

“… I’ve just been incredibly lucky to keep this job. Mike Brey is thrilled that he was at Notre Dame for 23 years; he’s a puppy. I’ve had 47 years. I got to coach my sons. For two years ago , we were in the Sweet 16. And last year I got to coach my sons. … I wanted to come back and coach these guys, and that’s what I was able to do. The university hasn’t offered me anything, whether they’re going to work or do something at university. It’s their choice.”

His 47 seasons at Syracuse trailed only Jim Phelan, who coached Mount St. Mary’s for 49 seasons between 1955 and 2008, in terms of longevity at a single school.

“There is no person more synonymous with Syracuse men’s basketball than legendary head coach Jim Boeheim,” ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips said in a statement, adding that he thanks “Jim for all he has done for the ACC and college basketball, and We wish him, Juli and their entire family all the best as he moves into the next chapter.”

Boeheim, who has had 23 players selected in the first round of the NBA draft, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005. He was also an assistant coach for three US basketball teams that won Olympic gold medals.

Syracuse awaits any postseason bids with a 17-15 record. Excluding the seasons that had wins vacated by sanctions, it was the second-worst single-season winning percentage of his coaching career — ahead of only the 2021-22 team, which went 16-17.

Autry had long been the administrative choice to succeed Boeheim, sources said, but the timing wasn’t finalized until after Syracuse’s loss to Wake Forest.

Autry, a 1994 graduate, has been Syracuse’s top recruiter and staff member since returning to his alma mater in 2011. He has strong ties to the New York City and Washington DC areas and is also a connection to the program’s history.

He played in 121 games in his four seasons for Boeheim, then spent more than a decade on the bench with his former coach.

“There have been very few more powerfully influential forces in my life than Syracuse University and Jim Boeheim. They have both played such important roles, and without either of them I’m sure I would not have had this incredible opportunity before me,” Autry said . “I have spent a lot of my time in the game of basketball learning from Jim and am so grateful to him for preparing me to continue the winning tradition that is Orange Basketball.

“It’s hard to imagine a world without him on the bench, but together with our coaches, student-athletes and fans, we will build on decades of success as a winning program.”

Boeheim has been inextricably linked to Syracuse for more than six decades. He was born in the central New York city of Lyons, not far from Syracuse. He enrolled at the school in 1962 as a walk-on, eventually captaining the then Orangemen alongside Dave Bing.

In 1969, Boeheim was hired at Syracuse as a graduate assistant. And in 1976 he took over as head coach of the program. He has been the face of it ever since.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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