No, Jim Boeheim won’t be playing on the court, but he is definitely a big player in how the Syracuse men’s basketball season plays out.
This is now Boeheim’s 42nd year leading the Syracuse basketball program. It was supposed to be his last. That is until March—immediately after the 2016-2017 season ended for Syracuse—when Assistant Coach Mike Hopkins left to take a head coaching job at Washington. Shortly after that news broke, Syracuse Athletic Director John Wildhack extended Boeheim’s contract.
When asked at media day what keeps him going in now his fourth decade as the Syracuse head coach, Boeheim said it’s the drive to have a great team.
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s your first year, your tenth year, fifteenth; it doesn’t matter. You want to go out and get this team to be as good as they can be,” Boeheim said.
Boeheim referenced the fact that each year is a clean slate.
“There’s no carryovers,” he said.
This fact about the nature of college basketball’s yearly changing landscape only makes Boeheim greater. The hall-of-fame coach has never had a losing season, despite having a different team every single year.
“If anything, I think that I’m more motivated now than I was when I was younger,” Boeheim said. “Because it’s, you know, obvious I’m not going to coach forever.”
While Boeheim may say it’s obvious that he will one day hand over the reins, he isn’t going anywhere yet. Boeheim has led SU to ten regular season conference championships, five conference tournament championships, 32 NCAA Tournament appearances, five national championship appearances and one national title.
Now, it’s day one of the season all over again.
“You want to do the best you can this year with this team,” Boeheim said. “And that’s what we’re going to try to do.”
Published: David Edelstein