Item: Nearly two weeks after his Carrier Dome press conference in which he reiterated his “intent” to step down after three more seasons coaching Syracuse basketball, Orange Watch has learned from various sources close to the Syracuse Hall of Famer that his timetable has him coaching only one more collegiate season, then the 2016 Summer Olympics, before hanging up the whistle for good and handing the reigns over to Mike Hopkins just prior to preseason practice in late Sept. 2016.
Whenever we hear the word “intent” or “intention” in relation to someone in a powerful position in life explaining their plans moving forward, we’re always dubious about the complete truthfulness in that individual’s statement, acknowledging the fact that the person believes firmly in what they’re saying at that moment.
It was with that suspicion when Jim Boeheim answered a media member’s question at his hour long March 19 Dome session about his future, confirming he would coach next season, but, “beyond that, I have no plans,” he made clear, reiterating he didn’t think he’d still be coaching at age 70, adding, “(three years) is a long time.”
Over the past two days, several people we spoke with close to Boeheim confirmed his thought process after the coach sat down with his family to discuss the aftermath of the NCAA investigation report, and his public response at the Dome press conference, and decided to formulate a plan that would ensure Hopkins is elevated to the top job after waiting patiently for what will end up being 21 years.
“He (Boeheim) is going to pull a ‘Dean Smith’,” one source told Orange Watch.
“He’s going to coach in the Olympics (ending August 21, 2016), come home and finalize the plans to hold a press conference a few weeks later in which he will have Coach Hop right beside him to have the official handing-off-of-the-program coronation,” the source continued, in making an analogy to how longtime North Carolina coach Dean Smith handled his retirement in October 1997, announcing he was stepping down only a week before practice got underway, having longtime aide Bill Guthridge succeed him, and eschewing any sort of farewell tour, which Boeheim also made clear at his Dome media event he wanted no part of as well.
Still (unofficially to the NCAA) 34 victories away from the 1000 mark, unless next year’s youthful laden squad can equal the 34-3 mark of the 2011-12 Elite Eight team, Coach Boeheim will finish in the 900s with total victories, and will have one last hurrah coaching Syracuse basketball next season before enjoying his family, golf, and other projects close to his legacy, on a fulltime basis.
(Please note: For those questioning the veracity of this story, see the calendar for today’s date.)