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Under the Radar Coaching Candidates: Jason Hart

Photo courtesy of syracuse.com

We’ve now gone through five potential candidates for John Wildhack to replace Jim Boeheim. Four main candidates, and one who might not be as likely and is flying under the radar. To close out our coaching candidate series, let’s look at one more under-the-radar candidate.

Enter Jason Hart.

Hart played at SU in a similar timespan to a lot of the other Syracuse-based coaching candidates on this list. From 1996-to 2000, Hart made a name for himself in Orange, becoming the first freshman to lead the Big East in minutes played in his first season. 

He continued to improve throughout his career, landing on the Big East’s All-First Team in 2000 as a senior. Additionally, Hart was awarded a spot on Syracuse’s all-century team. He was selected 49th overall in the second round of the 2000 NBA draft.

Hart played in the NBA for ten years, which is more than a lot of Syracuse players who make it to the association. Unlike his peers, Hart did not return to Syracuse to coach, instead, he started in Southern California. First, at Pepperdine, and then at USC as an assistant when Andy Enfield was hired in 2013.

During Hart’s time in Los Angeles, he and Enfield have been a formidable recruiting duo, something Syracuse desperately needs. Over the last five seasons, the Trojans have had five players drafted into the NBA, including two top-10 picks.

Hart would bring a rejuvenated recruiting perspective, along with a history of success to Central New York. Maybe something new is what would be best for an SU program that has felt stale at times for the past half-decade at least. 

Hart has a style, approach, and mantra that resonates with younger players and can get them to buy-in. That’s why he was hired to be the head coach of the G-League Ignite team in 2021, which develops some of the best young players in the world.

Hart’s recruiting and developmental skills are the main factors that make him an attractive man for the job. But, there are obviously retractors. He has not done anything for SU in 20 years and does not have any connections to the Northeast anymore.

Jason Hart has the potential to be a very good head coach in college. That may not be at Syracuse, but if Wildhack gives him a shot, then it won’t take long for SU fans to buy into what Hart is selling.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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