NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Coach Jim Boeheim and his Syracuse Orange are headed back to the Final Four. Here’s a look at the man whose relationship with the program began more than a half-century ago.
1. Before he was a coach at Syracuse, he was a player there.
A native of Lyons, New York, Boeheim walked on to the Syracuse basketball team as a freshman in 1962. By his senior year, he was the captain on the school’s second NCAA Tournament team.
2. He’s in his 40th season as Syracuse’s head coach.
Boeheim was hired as the coach of the Orangemen, as they were known then, in 1976. In his 40 seasons since, his teams have never had a losing season, reached the NCAA Tournament 32 times, advanced to the Final Four on five occasions and won the national championship once, in 2003. Boeheim unofficially has a record of 989-346 — unofficially because 108 of his victories were stripped by the NCAA for rules violations.
3. He was suspended earlier this season.
Speaking of those rules violations, Boeheim sat out nine games during the season after the NCAA found that Syracuse had committed infractions that included forged classwork, cash handouts to players and a lack of adherence to the school’s drug policy. Syracuse went 4-5 without Boeheim on the bench. Oddly enough, the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee used his absence, in part, as justification for giving the Orange an at-large bid, saying the panel takes into consideration the absence of coaches and key players.
4. The Carrier Dome court bears his name.
In 2002, Syracuse named the court at the Carrier Dome after Boeheim. He initially rejected the idea of a pregame ceremony celebrating the honor, saying it might prove to be a distraction for his team. But eventually his wife and others talked him into it.
5. Did you know about his acting?
Boeheim made cameos, playing himself, in the 1990s basketball movies “He Got Game” and “Blue Chips.”