Jim Boeheim became the third head coach in college basketball history to reach the 900 win plateau, joining fellow legends Mike Krzyzewski and Bob Knight.
Boeheim is without question one of basketball’s greatest coaches and reaching the milestone only adds to his legacy. The legend’s accomplishments are nearly as long as his coaching career.
Since becoming the head coach of the Syracuse Orange in 1976, Boeheim has led the team to an NCAA Championship, three Final Fours, and five Big East Tournament championships. He owns a 74.7% winning record going 900-304 in his career.
It’s important to note his work as an assistant coach with Team USA Basketball as he owns two Olympic gold medals (2008,2012), a FIBA World Championship gold medal (2010) along with two bronze medals (1990, 2006) and a FIBA Americas Championship gold (2007).
It’s no wonder the coach was inducted into both the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005 and the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
He’s owns a long list of impressive players he’s coached including the likes of former first overall pick Derrick Coleman, along with Dion Waiters, Danny Schayes, Leo Rautins, Gerry McNamara, Hakim Warrick, and Etan Thomas.
Easily Boeheim’s most famous player has been Carmelo Anthony and considering the success they’ve had together, it’s likely Anthony could be his favorite player as well. After all, the two have combined to win a lot together on the national team not to mention Anthony is responsible for giving Boeheim his only NCAA Championship.
One of the biggest things that will be remembered about the long-time Syracuse coach when he hangs up his whistle will be his consistent usage of the 2-3 zone defense. He’s been praised and criticized multiple times throughout his career for insisting to use zone defense but there’s no denying he’s also been influential with its usage. In fact, his fellow coach on Team USA, Krzyzewski, has credited Boeheim for teaching him things about zone during their time together at the Olympics in London this past summer. Coach K has said he’s even already used some of the things Boeheim taught him this season.
When the guy many consider to be the best in the game is finding ways to improve his coaching tactics through your techniques, clearly you are one of the best as well.
That is exactly what Boeheim is, one of the best of all-time.
On a personal note, this blogger’s most memorable Boeheim moment came in Syracuse’s 2006 Big East Tournament run. The Orange had lost key players Warrick the season before and Anthony two season prior to that to the NBA. This left McNamara as the lone major piece remaining from the 2003 Championship roster and the guard would put on one of the greatest scoring displays over a four day stretch in NCAA history.
McNamara averaged 16.5 points over four games as Syracuse won the tournament championship as the ninth seed. The Orange defeated James White’s Cincinnati Bearcats, Rudy Gay’s Connecticut Huskies, Roy Hibbert’s Georgetown Hoyas, and Aaron Gray’s Pittsburgh Panthers in the finals.
McNamara took home tournament MVP honors and it’d be another wonderful coaching display by Boeheim over the four day period. A few short weeks later the coach would receive the John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award.
Another example of the legendary career the coach has accomplished.