SYRACUSE, NY — Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said Wednesday that there is a plan in place for when he steps down.
Boeheim, in an interview with ESPN Radio in Syracuse, did not reveal any details of the arrangement because that could have an effect on recruiting. He said the university will decide when to make it public and he expects to have input on the selection of his replacement.
“There’s a plan,” Boeheim said. “I’m just telling you there’s a plan.”
Boeheim, who at 77 is the second-winningest coach in Division I history with 997 victories, behind only Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, is nearing the end of his 46th season at the helm. He has said repeatedly that he intends to coach next season with a handful of freshmen enrolling.
“I think if I said I’m quitting now, after giving my word to these players, to me it would look like, ‘Oh, they’ve had a bad year, so he’s just going to quit,”’ Boeheim said Saturday night after a lopsided home loss to Duke.”That’s what it would look like to me. Maybe not to you. Maybe not to someone else. But that’s what I would see. “He’s given his word to these players, he’s healthy, he feels great, but they’re having a bad year, so he’s just going to quit.”
Syracuse (15-15) has one game remaining in the regular season, against Miami on Saturday in the Carrier Dome, before the ACC tournament begins. Boeheim has never had a losing season.
“At the end of the day, I can promise you that I’m trying to leave this program in the best position that it can be in when I leave,” Boeheim said. “I think we’ll be able to do that.”
This is the second plan for Boeheim’s retirement. When Syracuse was hit with NCAA sanctions in 2015 and Boeheim had 101 of his victories vacated, former assistant coach Mike Hopkins was designated to succeed him. Instead, after 25 years with the program as a player and a coach, Hopkins suddenly departed in March 2017 when he was offered the job at Washington and Boeheim continued to coach the Orange.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.