Basketball Hall of Famer Jim Boehm’s 47-year tenure as coach at Syracuse came to a strange end Wednesday, the university said, as Orange assistant Adrian Autry has been promoted to the job.
The move came less than three hours after Syracuse’s loss to Wake Forest in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, after which Boehm hinted at retirement but said it would ultimately be the university’s decision.
Then came the news from the school: “Today, as his 47th season coaching ends, his alma mater ends, so does his career at Syracuse University. Associate Head Coach Adrian Autry ’94, one of Boehm’s former players and longtime assistant, has been named the program’s next head coach.
Autry has been on Boehm’s staff since 2011 and holds the title of associate head coach since March 2017.
The 78-year-old Boehm’s record in his 47 seasons was officially 1,015–441. This reflects the 101 wins taken away by the NCAA for violations between the 2004–07 and 2010–12 seasons.
Whether the count was 1,015 or 1,116, only now-retired Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski had more wins than Boehm at the Division I level.
“As I’ve said from day one when I started working here, the university hired me, and it’s their choice what they want to do,” Boehm said Wednesday afternoon. “I’ve always had the option of retirement, but it’s their decision whether I coach or not. It always has been. Again, I’ve been very fortunate to be able to coach my college team, play and then be an assistant coach.” And then was able to become a head coach, never had to leave Syracuse. It’s a great university.
It was a confusing final news conference, with Boehm hinting at retirement and indicating he wanted to return.
Clarity did not come long afterwards. And for the first time since 1976, someone other than Boehm is now the Orange’s head coach.
“There is no doubt in my mind that without Jim Boehm, Syracuse basketball would not be the powerhouse program it is today,” Chancellor Kent Sieverud said in a statement distributed by the school. “Jim has devoted much of his life to building this program, grooming generations of student-athletes, and representing his alma mater with pride and distinction. I would like to express my deep appreciation and gratitude to an alumnus express what it means to be a ‘Forever Orange’.
Boheme has been synonymous with Syracuse for more than six decades. He was born in the central New York City of Lyons, not far from Syracuse. He enrolled at the school as a walk-on in 1962, eventually becoming captain of the then-Orangemen alongside Dave Byng.
In 1969, he was hired at Syracuse as a graduate assistant. And in 1976 he took over the program. He has been its face ever since; Even the court in the dome where Syracuse plays its home games has carried his name since 2002.
Buddy Boehm, one of Boehm’s sons who played for him at Syracuse, tweeted on Wednesday, “There will never be another Jim Boehm.” “The greatest coach, father and mentor I could ever ask for. A man who gave everything to a city, program and university, had a life full of accomplishments with countless accomplishments. Looking forward to lots of golf in our future.” Yes, love you Pop.”
The Orange were 17–15 this season and would miss the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season. This drew criticism, leading to questions about Boehm’s future and what the school would ultimately decide.
“It’s an honor to play for Coach Boehm,” said Syracuse’s Beanie Williams after the loss to Wake Forest. “I’ve been watching Syracuse basketball since I can remember, from Jeremy Grant to Dion Waiters and those guys. The biggest lesson I’ll take from Coach Boehm is that I go about my business every day and being a man.
And there, without question, was a decline in success.
Syracuse has not won 20 games in any of the last four seasons. It was a far cry from the glory days when the program won the NCAA title in 2003 and reached the Final Four on four other occasions. Syracuse reached the NCAA tournament 34 times under Boehm, winning 10 Big East regular-season titles and five more titles in that conference’s tournaments.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to coach at Syracuse, a place I love, a place I love living,” Boehm said. “People keep thinking about it, but maybe it’s a flaw in me. But I’ve lived in Syracuse my whole life, and I look forward to living there for a long time in the future. I think it’s a great place.” Is.”
Now it’s Autry’s turn. He had been expected to become the next coach for some time; The question was always when.
He played 121 matches in his four seasons for Boehm, then spent over a decade with his former coach on the bench.
“There are very few more influential forces in my life than Syracuse University and Jim Boehm. They both played such important roles and without either of them, I am sure I would not have this incredible opportunity in front of me,” Autry said. “I spent most of my time playing basketball learning from Jim and am extremely grateful to him for preparing me to carry on the Orange Basketball winning tradition.
“It’s hard to imagine a world without him on the bench, but together with our coaches, student-athletes and fans, we will build on decades of success as a winning program.”