Syracuse Finally Gets It Right – Jim Boeheim Announces Retirement In His Words As New Coach Introduced

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Well, Syracuse and Jim Boeheim finally got it right on the third try Friday.

It wasn’t a charm, but it was better.

“I’m thrilled to be retired,” Boeheim said at a press conference at Syracuse to introduce new coach Adrian Autry and to bid him a classier adieu than Wednesday and when the regular season ended Saturday.

Syracuse’s Judah Mintz talks to Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim during a game against Duke this season at Syracuse, New York. (Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images)

“I’ve felt better in the last two days than I have in the last 47 years,” he said.

Wow, another little dig by the sardonic Boeheim. Because it’s not true. You should have seen him after Syracuse beat Kansas, 81-78, for the national championship in the Superdome in New Orleans on April 7, 2003.

“I know coach is happy,” Syracuse superstar Carmelo Anthony said that night. “Tonight, he’s probably the happiest guy on earth.”


Boeheim, 78 and needing retirement, was not happy Wednesday. He had basically talked about retiring after Syracuse beat Wake Forest on Saturday. Then he did so again after Wake Forest eliminated the Orange from the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament on Wednesday. Only he wasn’t clear. He sounded like he wanted to keep coaching. Or did he? He was near tears. And nobody really understood what he was saying.

Syracuse Told Jim Boeheim He Was Done On Wednesday

Then later Wednesday, Syracuse released a cold release that Boeheim was done. And Boeheim did not speak again until Friday.

Funny, after Boeheim, a native Lyons, N.Y. 57 miles from Syracuse, won the national championship in 2003 in New Orleans, he joked about all the snow back home.

“That’s why we’re mean sometimes,” he said. “It’s all the snow.”

Well, now Boeheim can go play in the snow all he wants.

“I’m 78 years old, and I will never leave Syracuse,” he said. “I will never leave Syracuse University.

Boeheim spoke for about 15 minutes, and he deserved that. He choked up several times, especially when he brought up his wife Juli, his second one whom he married in 1997.

“The best wife a coach can ever have,” he said.

The Syracuse marriage looks like it may be solid for the future, too, after looking a little rocky on Wednesday and through a 17-15 season – the fourth straight sub-20-win season for Boeheim. He won 20 or more 34 times from his first year in 1976-77 through 2018-19 and 1had 8 seasons of 25 wins or more.

Syracuse chancellor Kent Syverud and athletic director John Wildhack for nearly an hour on Thursday and “most everything” was settled, Boeheim said. Wildhack said there was “no friction.”

Maybe not now.

Jim Boeheim Retirement Party On The Agenda

Wildhack said he and Boeheim will meet again next week to discuss Boeheim’s role at Syracuse. Boeheim hinted that he’d like an office at Syracuse, as other recently retired national championship legends like Roy Williams at North Carolina and Mike Krzyzewski at Duke have.

On Wednesday, Syracuse appeared to be showing Boeheim the door – away, not to a cushy job and prime seats at Syracuse’s games.

The new coach may even keep playing Boeheim’s patented 2-3 zone defense.

And a real retirement ceremony is upcoming.

“In a big way,” Wildhack said. “He might not like it, but I’ll call Juli and make sure he’s there.”

The snow is melting.

Written by Glenn Guilbeau

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