Barely two weeks removed from career win No. 900, Boeheim passed coaching legend Bob Knight for second on the Division I career wins list when his Orange beat Rutgers 78-53 in their Big East opener before the Syracuse home crowd. The win also extended the nation’s longest home winning streak at the time to 33 games. But perhaps most touching to Boeheim were the letters and calls he received en route to the milestone win, particularly from former St. John’s star and fellow Hall of Famer Chris Mullin. ''That call meant as much to me as anything because he's the best player, you could argue, who's played in this league.”
To 900 . . . and beyond!
The 2012-13 season has been a memorable one to be sure for Jim Boeheim. Along with coaching one of the nation's top teams, the Syracuse head man in December became only the third member of the 900-win club. And just two days into 2013, he passed Bob Knight to become No. 2 on all the all-time wins list. While the glory that comes with such milestones is great, taking a look back at the road to the glory can be even more fun. And when you're talking about a guy with 900-plus wins, multiple gold medals and plenty of twine necklaces, it's an especially amazing trip. Here are some of the greatest highlights in one of college basketball's greatest coaching careers.
Nov. 26, 1976
Syracuse 75, Harvard 48. Back then, Boeheim had a little more hair and far fewer wins. In fact, this 27-point win over the Crimson was his first, launching a career for the ages. In his 37 years at Syracuse. And while Boeheim has yet to play Harvard again, he has beaten up on plenty of opponents multiple times, including Pittsburgh (38-22 career record entering the 2012-13 season, and against whom he is coaching in this photo, circa 1980). But no team has been a bigger part of Boeheim’s run to 900 than Seton Hall, which has lost to the coach 45 times in 59 tries.
Feb. 24, 2002
Perhaps no coach in the nation is more synonymous with his school than Boeheim is with Syracuse. So it was fitting that more than a decade ago, while in his 26th season, Boeheim was forever linked to the Carrier Dome court when it was renamed Jim Boeheim Court. And if you don’t believe us, just check out his signature on the hardwood.
April 7, 2003
Twice before, Boeheim had been sent home from the national championship game without a net. But twice before, he did not have Carmelo Anthony on his team. In 2003, Anthony turned in arguably the most significant season by a freshman in men’s college basketball history, and capped it with Boeheim’s first (and to date only) national championship, in his 27th season with at Syracuse. The Orange beat Kansas 81-78 in Roy Williams’ final game with the Jayhawks.
Sept. 9, 2005
Two seasons removed from his national championship, Boeheim is recognized with the greatest honor for sustained excellence — enshrinement into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Fittingly, he is joined in enshrinement in 2005 with longtime Big East foe and colleague Jim Calhoun of Connecticut. The other members of the 900 club are also in the Hall of Fame, Mike Krzyzewski (2001) and Bob Knight (1991).
Aug. 24, 2008
After more than three decades of success in upstate New York, Boeheim took his talents to Beijing and served as an assistant to fellow 900 Club member Mike Krzyzewski (far right), and helped turn his summer vacation into a gold rush. The trip was especially sweet for Boeheim in that former Syracuse star Carmelo Anthony, who helped deliver Boeheim is only NCAA title, was on Team USA, scoring 13 points in the 118-107 win over Spain to clinch the gold medal.
March 12, 2009
Well, the Big East quarterfinal started on March 12, but it ended well into March 13 at Madison Square Garden. Boeheim’s Orange and Jim Calhoun’s UConn Huskies played the second-longest game in Division I history (and perhaps the most exciting of all time). And when the 3 hour, 46 minute marathon was over, it was 1:22 a.m. and Syracuse had a 127-117 win. Adding to the dramatics was a series of blocks, heartbreaking misses and game-winning shots overturned by replay, bringing regulation and each of the first five overtimes down to virtually the buzzer.
Dec. 17, 2012
With his family on hand and his legion of faithful followers in the stands, Boeheim further cemented his place among coaching royalty with a 72-68 win over Detroit at the Carrier Dome. Now, a four-point win over the Titans doesn't sound like much, but when it makes you only the third coach in Division I history to collect 900 career wins, it's a pretty big win.