Mar 9, 2023 - Sports

An awkward end for Boeheim

jim boeheim

Photo: Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images

"I'm not Derek Jeter. There will be no farewell tour," Jim Boeheim said in 2015. There sure wasn't.

Driving the news: Following Syracuse's last-second loss to Wake Forest on Wednesday in the second round of the Atlantic Coast Conference's men's basketball tournament, Boeheim said it was "up to the university" to decide his future.

  • A few hours later, Syracuse announced that associate head coach Adrian Autry would succeed Boeheim next season.
  • It's still unclear whether he retired or was fired — a strange way for his Hall of Fame career to end.

By the numbers: Boeheim, 78, coached the Orange for 47 seasons, winning 1,015 games (second-most in D-I history), making five Final Fours and winning one national championship (2003).

What they're saying: "Not many coaches earn the right to choose their exit. Boeheim is one of them," author John Feinstein wrote in the Washington Post, criticizing Syracuse for seemingly forcing a legend out.

  • "I wish there was a better finish ... I would've liked to see more love between all parties," tweeted Dick Vitale.
  • "It seemed like a very cold ending for a man that bled Orange for six decades."

The other side: Plenty of Syracuse faithful had grown impatient with Boeheim's prolonged tenure and poor results of late.

  • Retirement rumors have swirled for decades, and Boeheim was set to retire in 2018 before changing his mind so he could coach his sons, Buddy and Jimmy.
  • The Orange went 33-32 over the past two seasons and will miss their second straight NCAA Tournament.

The backdrop: Boeheim is the fourth Hall of Fame coach to leave the men's D-I ranks in the last three seasons, following Roy Williams, Mike Krzyzewski and Jay Wright.

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