Thursday, January 3, 2013

Boeheim passes Bob Knight, moves into 2nd place on all-time wins list with 903

By Trevor Hass - Syracuse University '15
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim moved into second place on the all-time wins list after a 78-53 win against Rutgers.

If you were to walk around the campus at Syracuse University and ask 100 students who the head coach of the men’s basketball team was, I’d say 80 would respond with one simple word:


Sure, seven people would hesitate, and then, after an epiphany, yell out “Boa-heem!” hoping – praying – it was right.

Five more people would just look at you quizzically and have absolutely no idea what you were talking about and go about their day.

The remaining eight people would probably tell you they were late for some sorority shindig to avoid the embarrassment of not knowing the answer.

But, in all likelihood (no, I haven’t actually done this), 80 of the 100 students would give the right answer in a split second, with no hesitation and some serious pride: Boeheim.

Syracuse fans have a lot of pride when it comes to their basketball team, particularly their legendary head coach.

That pride was present Wednesday night for Syracuse fans, as Boeheim moved into sole possession of second place on the NCAA Division-I men’s basketball all-time wins list, passing Bob Knight.

Boeheim picked up his 903rd win in a 78-53 victory over Rutgers in Syracuse’s Big East opener.

Boeheim now sits behind only Mike Krzyzewski, who currently has 940 wins and has shown no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Boeheim is to Syracuse what Coach K is to Duke: longevity, commitment, an unremitting drive for excellence.

Some new fans might call him Jim Boeheim. Some fans who think they’re hotshots might call him Jimbo, JB or even J-Bay. Some might pretend they get coffee with him every weekend and call him Jimmy or Jimmy-boy.

But in general, he’s a man who goes by one word, a last name essentially synonymous with Syracuse basketball: Boeheim.

Boeheim is Syracuse basketball. It’s been that way since 1976, when he took over the reigns as head coach.

Before his incredible coaching career, he walked on to the basketball team in 1962. He ended up being a captain his senior year, playing alongside his freshman roommate and future NBA star, Dave Bing.

He went on to serve as an assistant coach from 1969-1976, and since then, he hasn’t skipped a beat.

There’s a reason Syracuse won a national championship in 2003. There’s a reason Syracuse has made the NCAA tournament 29 times in the last 36 years and won nine Big East regular season championships during that time. There’s a reason players ranging from Carmelo Anthony to Class of 2013 recruit Tyler Ennis have decided to come to Syracuse.

No, it’s not the weather. The Carrier Dome might have to do with it a little bit. Maybe the Big East (now ACC) is a factor. The 2-3 zone could contribute.

Maybe the awesome facilities, the lure of living on South Campus or the phenomenal restaurants Dinosaur BBQ and Pastabilities play a part.

But there’s one main reason top recruits decide to come to the ‘Cuse.

No, it’s not the painfully slow Wi-Fi connection, the painfully inefficient class selection process or the painfully expensive books.

I would assume you know what it is by now.

Just in case you somehow don’t…it’s Jimbo! J-Bay!

The man who has earned a spot on the Mount Rushmore of college coaches.

The man who has brought continued success to one of the nation’s top programs.

The man who has made Syracuse basketball what it is today.

Boeheim. 903 wins and counting.

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