Jim Boeheim

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim and guard Gerry McNamara
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim and guard Gerry McNamara were all smiles after an overtime win in the 2007 Big East Tournament. Getty Images / Jim McIsaac


Jim Boeheim


Head Coach


Syracuse Orange

Career Record (Entering the 2008-09 Season):


Key Influences:

Roy Danforth

Coaching Tree:

Rick Pitino (Louisville), Louis Orr (Bowling Green)

Great Players:

Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Coleman, Rony Seikaly, Billy Owens, Sherman Douglas, "Pearl" Washington, Hakim Warrick, Gerry McNamara (Syracuse)

National Championships:

2003 National Champion Syracuse Orangemen

Other Honors:

Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005


Jim Boeheim must really like the color orange. And snow. After all, he's been associated with Syracuse -- as an undergrad, an assistant coach, and head coach -- since the last days of the Kennedy administration.

Boeheim's first association with the Orangemen was as a freshman walk-on in 1963. By his senior year in 1966 he had been promoted to team captain, and teamed with Dave Bing to lead Syracuse to the second NCAA berth in school history.

After a brief stint in a lower-level pro league, Boeheim re-joined the Orangemen as a graduate assistant in 1969. He had progressed to a full-time assistant position by 1975, and when head coach Ray Danforth was hired away by Tulane, the head coaching job more or less fell into his lap.

Though he wasn't the school's first choice of coach, it's hard to imagine a better choice.

The Orange (known as the Orangemen until 2004) have posted a winning record in every one of Boeheim's 31 seasons. A founding member of the Big East Conference, Boeheim's resume boasts five conference tournament titles, seven regular-season titles, and 25 trips to the NCAA Tournament. But after heartbreaking losses in the national title game in 1987 (on Keith Smart's buzzer-beater for Indiana) and 1996, Boeheim was in danger of becoming "the coach that can't win the big one."

That all changed for good in 2003, when a Carmelo Anthony turned in one of the best freshman seasons in NCAA history and helped Boeheim earn that elusive title.

Syracuse has reached the NCAA or NIT in every year of Boeheim's tenure, save for 1993. The '93 team's record was 20-9 -- more than good enough to qualify for March Madness most years -- but was banned from post season play due to NCAA violations relating to recruiting.

Despite that blemish, Boeheim was voted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005, alongside his long-time Big East rival Jim Calhoun. His 771 career wins rank fourth among active coaches, just three behind Calhoun.

Boeheim is also a heavily involved in USA Basketball. He's an assistant with the senior national team that will compete for gold in the Beijing Olympics, and is chairman of the committee that selects the finalists for the U18 Team.

Coaching Style

Boeheim is well-known for his devotion to the 2-3 zone defense. The 2-3 is one of the simpler alignments in basketball, and is common even at the rec league level, but Boeheim's teams execute it to near-perfection.