The presumptive nominee for the United States Democratic Party, Joe Biden (a Syracuse grad) named his running mate yesterday, Senator Kamala Harris. That got me thinking, if Syracuse athletics were to form an Orange Party, what would the administration look like?
Here are some of my thoughts:
President: Jim Boeheim. Well, this one was easy. Boeheim first arrived from nearby Lyons in 1963 and he’s been head coach of the basketball team since 1976. He’s been named the Naismith College Coach of the Year (2010), won a National Championship (2003) and has been to five Final Fours (1987, 96, 03, 13, 16) among many, many other accolades. Boeheim is never afraid to tell you what’s on his mind, which would play well in this political age.
Vice President: Dino Babers. Prior to 2019, the last time Syracuse had finished a season in the AP Top 25 was in 2001. That, in and of itself puts Babers in high esteem on the Orange ticket. Babers brought his unique style of football to the Hill and has had some memorable speeches along the way. After listening to his “Who’s House? Our House!” speech, how could you not vote for him?
Secretary of State: Kent Syverud. The State Department is counted on to maintain excellent diplomatic relations with friends and foes abroad. Well, it just so happens that Syverud is the current chair of the ACC Board of Directors, making him the perfect diplomat. And speaking of foes, he was also a 1977 Georgetown grad – always best to keep your enemies close.
Secretary of the Treasury: John Wildhack. See that crane by the Carrier Dome that will give a badly needed face lift to the stadium? Well, Wildhack lead the charge to secure the $118 million investment from the University needed for improvements to the Dome. As a former ESPN executive, he also knows his way around SU’s television contracts.
Secretary of Defense: Ange Bradley: In 13 seasons as the Orange’s field hockey coach, Bradley has turned Syracuse into an elite program, leading the to the 2015 NCAA Championship. She also has a 77 percent win percentage at Syracuse and five conference titles. Now, why defense? Well, her 2008 team finished second in the nation in goals against average (1.03) and had six shutouts. Now that is a defense plan we can all get behind.
Attorney General: John Desko. As the chief lawyer of the United States, you’re going to want someone who has plenty of clout and demands respect when he speaks. Well, no current head coach at Syracuse has more national championships than Desko (5), and no ACC coach has ever won ACC Coach of the Year three consecutive seasons. Desko has won it four years (2015-18) in a row. He also holds the best winning percentage (.750) of any active Division I head coach.
Secretary of Energy: Quentin Hillsman. He’s definitely brought the energy to the Cuse since taking over in 2006. Hillsman led the Orange to seven straight NCAA Tournaments, including the 2016 Title Game against Connecticut. He’s won 65 percent of his games, and 68 percent of his ACC games.
Secretary of Commerce: Gary Gait. You can trust the country’s economy with someone who’s suceeded as both a palyer and coach. Gait was money as a player, winning three titles with the Orangemen from 1988-90 before taking over as SU’s head women’s lacrosse coach in 2007. As coach, he’s got a 190-70 record and two appearances in the NCAA Title game, eight in the semifinals and six regular season titles.
Secretary of Agriculture: Brien Bell. Agriculture is the science of cultivation. It’s about planting a seed and watching it grow into something significant. Prior to Bell arriving in Syracuse, the Orange program was an afterthought. Since he’s arrived? He’s guided the team to a 2015 men’s cross country NCAA Championship, mentored Justyn Knight to two NCAA individual titles, and coached 15 cross country All-Americans, 55 track and field All-Americans.