Orange Watch: Another first in legendary career of Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim

When Syracuse opens up next season, Jim Boeheim will find himself coaching against his son Jimmy and his Cornell teammates
When Syracuse opens up next season, Jim Boeheim will find himself coaching against his son Jimmy and his Cornell teammates

Item: With his oldest son Jimmy about to embark as a collegiate basketball player for his freshman year on the Cornell roster after a standout suburban Syracuse scholastic career plus a post graduate season, the scene is now set for a unique father-son matchup early in the upcoming 2017-18 Syracuse season.

Who’s going to take the first pictures?

You know the one in which both Jim Boeheim, the coach, is watching while standing on the sideline in front of his bench while in the same shot as his son, Jimmy, clad in a red Cornell uniform, in action on the court named after his father.

That scenario would seemingly occur in November after the reported date of the ‘Cuse season opener (Friday, Nov. 10 – with the football team hosting Wake Forest the next day) comprising of the virtually annual (teams have met five times over the last seven years) game against the Big Red which was reported this week, with the younger Boeheim a member of a team coached by second year CU coach Brian Earl.

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In his upcoming 42nd season and with some members of his inaugural 1976-77 roster now in their early 60s, Jim Boeheim will coach a game in which one of his children is on the opposition’s roster. Amazing.

While the Cornell game will be a first time occurrence with its personal family connection, it won’t mark the first time Boeheim has coached against someone close to him professionally with an Orange connection.

First ex-assistant coach Boeheim faced: Rick Pitino of Providence on Jan. 22, 1986 in a 95-73 SU win at the Dome.

First ex-player-turned-head-coach Boeheim faced: Louis Orr of Seton Hall on Jan. 8. 2002 in an 85-70 Orange win at the Dome.

And speaking of basketball and family, Boeheim has coached against four father-son combinations in his career in Georgetown’s John Thompson Jr. and John Thompson III, Rick Pitino and Richard Pitino of Minnesota, Ralph Willard (a Boeheim assistant in 1986-87) at Pittsburgh and Kevin Willard at Seton Hall, and Dick Bennett at Wisconsin-Green Bay and Tony Bennett at Virginia.

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About Brad Bierman 848 Articles
Now in his sixth decade of covering SU sports, Brad was sports director of WSYR radio for eight years into the early 1990s, then wrote the Orange Watch column for The Big Orange/The Juice print publication for 18 years. A Syracuse University graduate, Brad currently runs his own media consulting business in the Philadelphia suburbs. Follow him on Twitter @BradBierman.