Jim Boeheim's Second Most All-Time Wins Doesn't Make Him the Second Best Coach

By Michael Roberts
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Despite Jim Boeheim passing Bob Knight for second most wins all-time for an NCAA Division I coach, the Syracuse Orange legend still isn’t the clear choice as second best college coach of all-time.

Boeheim picked up the 903 win of his career after the Orange defeated the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 78-53 to open their conference schedule.

Although the Syracuse coach passed Knight to become the coach with the second most wins of all-time, he still isn’t considered the second best college coach of all-time. The greatest coach of all-time honor belongs to Mike Krzyzewski but the second greatest coach honor is still up for debate. Boeheim is in the discussion however his competition makes the argument far from clear.

Only having one National championship to his name makes the wins impressive but the lack of titles hurts his reputation. Especially when you consider the championship was won on the back of New York native Carmelo Anthony, something the team would have had no chance of doing without the star player. It could be debated recruiting a superstar of Anthony’s talent to play for his local school is more luck of circumstance than an example of one of the coach’s greatest recognitions. However, Boeheim still had Anthony for the one season and the fact that he did cannot be overlooked.

Other coaching legends like Knight, Dean Smith and Jim Calhoun give Boeheim plenty of competition for the title of second best coach of all-time.

Knight has 902 wins to his name but beats the Syracuse coach in the title department with his three championships. The Indiana Hoosiers legend has coached players like Isiah Thomas and Steve Alford, while also being responsible for getting numerous head coaches their foot in the door of the game such as Krzyzewski, Mike Woodson and Lawrence Frank.

Smith recorded 879 wins in his career, along with two national championships but is perhaps most famous for coaching the college career of Michael Jordan. The North Carolina Tar Heels legend also coached basketball legends Mitch Kupchak, George Karl, James Worthy and Larry Brown, along with making Roy Williams his assistant coach. The six names mentioned have all had Smith help the development of their basketball careers, and have all gone on to play major roles in the history of the game.

Calhoun retired with 875 wins along with three NCAA championships for the Connecticut Huskies. He is responsible for sending several players to the NBA including names like Ray Allen, Richard Hamilton, Caron Butler and Rudy Gay. He also help get Kevin Ollie the head coaching job at Connecticut after coaching the player in college, helping him get to the NBA and making Ollie an assistant under the legend before his retirement.

Boeheim might have the second most wins, but he’ll still need to add to the already impressive resume before he’s considered the second best college coach of all-time. Championships will always weigh more than win totals and the Orange coach will need more titles before he’s the clear cut decision to follow Krzyzewski in the rankings.

He’s more than capable of adding to his resume and most likely will before he hangs up the whistle. Passing Knight is just another milestone for now but the focus for Boeheim’s greatness relies on championships.

Michael covers ACC and Big East basketball along with the Toronto Raptors for Rant Sports, you can follow him on Twitter @MichaelxRoberts

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