Syracuse long-time coach Jim Boeheim could be stepping down from the organization…or not.
Syracuse’s head coach Jim Boeheim stopped short of announcing his retirement in Wednesday’s post-game conference, but everyone knew what was on the tip of his tongue.
Syracuse fell to Wake Forest 77-74 in the ACC men’s basketball tournament and boy, was it a dramatic way to go.
Senior Wake Forest guard Daivien Williamson won the game with a buzzer-beater 3-pointer, knocking the Orange out of the ACC Tournament and squandering Syracuse’s best chance of making the NCAA Tournament.
Following the disappointing loss, Jim Boeheim was asked his usual slate of retirement questions. The 78-year-old coach has been fielding those questions for the last several years, but today, they carried much more weight.
These were his frustratingly vague responses:
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim drops crumbs about his potential retirement
Update, 5:18 p.m. ET – After Boeheim’s cryptic comments, Syracuse announced that the longtime head coach was, indeed, retiring.
Boeheim has held the men’s basketball head coach position for nearly half a century, leading the program to 35 NCAA tournament appearances, five Final Fours, and a national championship in 2003. His name is as synonymous with Syracuse as Mike K is to Duke, and he’s seen it all during his 47-year tenure.
If the Orange don’t make it to the NCAA tournament this season, it would mark Boeheim’s third season in the last four years without an NCAA tournament bid, raising serious concerns about his efficacy as head coach.
This season, the Orange finished 17-15 overall and 10-10 in the ACC. They lost in heartbreaking fashion to Wake Forest despite beating the Demon Deacons in the ACC regular-season finale on March 4.
“It’s up to the university” seemingly puts the ball in Syracuse’s court and forces the university to make a tough decision in 2023. Boeheim has already blazed an impressive path in the men’s basketball program, and his legacy won’t be easily forgotten.
Finding Boeheim’s replacement for next season appears to be the sensible move…. however, Boeheim’s open-ended answers only further muddle the situation.
Does he want to stay and end his coaching career on a high note? Is he waiting for people to come to his house with pitchforks demanding his retirement?
If Boeheim did indeed coach his last game at Syracuse, the school will undergo its first coaching search since 1976.
Boeheim, growing into a relic with each passing day, is taking the matter out of his own hands and leaves his fate for others to decide.