Syracuse announced Wednesday that legendary coach Jim Boeheim will not return to the Orange, ending his 47-year career as the coach at his alma mater. Boeheim, a Naismith Hall of Fame coach, will be replaced by longtime assistant Adrian Autry.
Boeheim was evasive about his future in his postgame press conference immediately after Syracuse's 77-74 loss to Wake Forest in the second round of the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, North Carolina. Boeheim insinuated that he had given a "retirement" speech after the team's regular season finale on Saturday and that the ultimate decision on his future belonged to the Syracuse administration.
"This is up to the university," he said
Indeed, hours later, the university announced its decision on Boeheim, saying "Today, as his 47th season coaching his alma mater comes to an end, so too does his storied career at Syracuse University," in a brief statement that sent shock waves throughout the college basketball world.
The university thanked Boeheim, 78, for his lengthy tenure as coach of the Orange, who won a national title in 2003 and made five Final Four appearances under his leadership, but didn't use the word "retirement."
A legendary coaching tenure that turned this program into a perennial national power comes to a close after 47 years.— Syracuse Men’s Basketball (@Cuse_MBB) March 8, 2023
📰 https://t.co/sI3xKt44N7 pic.twitter.com/NHn9Z47Uw8
"There is no doubt in my mind that without Jim Boeheim, Syracuse Basketball would not be the powerhouse program it is today," Syracuse chancellor Kent Syverud said in the statement. "Jim has invested and dedicated the majority of his life to building this program, cultivating generations of student-athletes and representing his alma mater with pride and distinction. I extend my deep appreciation and gratitude to an alumnus who epitomizes what it means to be 'Forever Orange.'"
Boeheim departs the sport at No. 2 behind Duke's Mike Krzyzewski on the Division I men's basketball all-time wins list with a final record of 1,015-441. That mark does not include 101 wins vacated by the NCAA. In an introductory press conference for Autry, Boeheim said he will have a role with the university moving forward, though it's not clear what that role will be.
Boeheim built the program with a patented zone defense and with numerous star players, including 10-time NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony, who led the 2003 national title team. Including Boeheim's four years as a player and six as an assistant at Syracuse, Boeheim spent 57 seasons with the program in various roles. He also served as an assistant coach for Team USA, helping engineer Olympic gold medal teams in 2008, 2012 and 2016
After making a Sweet 16 run in the 2020-21 season as a No. 11 seed, the Orange finished 16-17 in 2022 and 17-15 this season with an early exit from the ACC Tournament. Boeheim's exit comes a year after his sons, Buddy and Jimmy Boeheim, departed from the roster after playing key roles.
With Krzyzewski also retiring after the 2021-22 season on the heels of North Carolina legend Roy Williams' retirement in the summer of 2021, the ACC is undergoing a generational shift within its coaching ranks that has only become more pronounced this year. In addition to Boeheim, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey's 23-year run at Notre Dame came to an end after the Fighting Irish were eliminated from the ACC Tournament. Florida State's Leonard Hamilton, 74, and Miami's Jim Larranaga, 73, are now the league's elder statesmen.
In addition to the 2003 national title and four other Final Four appearances, Syracuse also won 10 Big East regular-season titles and five Big East Tournaments under Boeheim's direction. He guided the program through its transition from the Big East to the ACC in the 2013-14 season, and his teams have advanced beyond the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament three times since the shift in leagues.
By tabbing Autry as Boeheim's successor, Syracuse is keeping things in the Orange family. Autry played for Boeheim from 1990 to 1994, starting at point guard in 116 of the 121 games in which he appeared. He played on three NCAA Tournament teams before going on to play professionally and beginning his coaching career in the high school ranks.
Autry, 51, got his start in college coaching as the director of basketball operations at Virginia Tech in 2008 before Boeheim hired him as an assistant for the 2011-12. He's been on staff ever since, rising to hold the title of associate head coach in 2017.
"There have been very few stronger influential forces in my life than Syracuse University and Jim Boeheim," Autry said. "They have both played such important roles and without either of them, I am certain I would not have this incredible opportunity before me. I have spent much of my time in the game of basketball learning from Jim and am so grateful to him for preparing me to carry on the winning tradition that is Orange Basketball. 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."