The topic of Jim Boeheim’s retirement has been abundant in conversation around Central New York and the country for the last handful of years. But in 2022, the rumors and speculation reached a boiling point. Syracuse endured its worst season since 1969, and first losing year under Boeheim.
To that end, there are not many people who qualify to be Boeheim’s successor. After seeing what Duke and North Carolina did last offseason, staying in house, it would be logical to think that replacing a school legend would be made by someone already on the bench. We’ll do a couple profiles here at The Fizz about who could be the next coach at SU, but let’s start with someone who would be the first choice of plenty. Enter, Adrian Autry.
Autry played for Boeheim from 1990-1994, and has assisted the man he played for since 2011. The former SU starter was also named Associate Head Coach in 2016 and has assumed that role since Mike Hopkins left for Washington.
Autry had a strong and underrated career in Orange, and while there may be another former SU guard on the bench who gets all the headlines, Autry was no slouch. As a senior, he averaged almost 17 points per game and just over six assists and was named All Big East first team in 1994.
So why would Autry be the right guy for the job? He’s the most senior assistant on Boeheim’s staff, and that clearly means something because Hopkins was destined to be the new head coach as the associate head coach back in 2015, before he bolted early and Boeheim decided to continue coaching.
Autry has been loyal, and developed a number of successful Syracuse wing players over his time coaching forwards at SU. Jerami Grant, Malachi Richardson, Oshae Brissett and Elijah Hughes were either drafted or have made a name for themselves in the NBA after undergoing the tutelage of Autry. He was also the lead recruiter for Benny Williams, and while the freshman did not have a great year, he was still a highly rated recruit and has the potential to develop like the wings that came before him.
It’s evident that players respect him, and coaches around the league and country do as well just from watching from press row. Syracuse fans know him, and his son was a popular walk-on recently as well.
Autry has the relationships, pedigree, and resume to succeed as the next head coach at Syracuse, whenever Jim Boeheim decides to retire. Let’s just hope he sticks around for that opportunity.