LOS ANGELES – Syracuse University’s men’s head basketball coach, Jim Boeheim, a recent inductee into the basketball Hall of Fame, has been named this year’s recipient of the John R. Wooden “Legends of Coaching” honor, Award Chairman and Founder Richard “Duke” Llewellyn announced today. Boeheim will join an exclusive group of coaches that has received the award, including North Carolina’s Dean Smith, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Arizona’s Lute Olson, Louisville’s Denny Crum, and last year’s honoree, UConn coach Jim Calhoun.
“We’re pleased to associate our award with one of the most successful and highly respected coaches in college basketball history,” said Llewellyn. “Coach Boeheim exemplifies all of the qualities of an elite coach, including student-athlete development and on-court success. Over the course of his stellar coaching career, he has consistently demonstrated strong character while upholding the attributes that Coach Wooden advocated throughout his career.”
The Wooden Award Committee adopted the Legends of Coaching Award in 1999 to recognize the lifetime achievements of coaches that exemplify Coach Wooden’s high standards of coaching success and personal achievement. When selecting the individual, the committee considers character, coaching philosophy, student-athlete graduation rates, success on the court, and the coach’s identification with the goals of the John R. Wooden Award. Boeheim will receive the award during the Wooden Award Ceremony on April 8, 2006, at The Los Angeles Athletic Club.
In his 29 seasons at Syracuse (1976-2005), Boeheim has compiled a distinguished 703-241 overall record (75%) while leading the Orangemen to three National Championship games (1987, 1996 and 2003) and a National title (`03). Jim Boeheim’s 2004-05 Syracuse team finished with a 27-7 record, which resulted in its 24th NCAA postseason appearance of his tenure. During the season Boeheim earned his 700th victory, becoming the 18th coach in Division I history to reach the milestone. He ranks fifth among active Division I coaches in winning percentage and is tied for sixth in victories.
A three-time BIG EAST Coach of the Year, Boeheim has been honored as District II Coach of the Year 10 times by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). In 2001 Boeheim led the USA Basketball Young Men’s Team to the gold medal at the World Championship in Japan, his seventh year of USA Basketball coaching experience. He was named USA Basketball 2001 National Coach of the Year.
Additionally, Boeheim is a former team captain of the Syracuse basketball team, where he helped lead the Orange to a 22-6 record in his senior season. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in social science, Boeheim played professional basketball with Scranton of the Eastern League. He was a member of two championship squads and earned second-team all-star honors. In 1969 he turned to a career in coaching and was hired as a graduate assistant. Soon he was promoted to a full-time assistant coaching post and was part of the staff that guided the Orangemen to the program’s first Final Four appearance in 1975. A year later he was appointed head coach.
A champion of many charitable causes, Boeheim has been most active with “Coaches vs. Cancer,” a national fundraising organization. He has also lent his time to Crouse Hospital Family Maternity Center, the Children’s Miracle Network, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Pioneer Center for the Blind and Disabled, Lighthouse, People in Wheelchairs, Easter Seals, the Special Olympics, the Rescue Mission and the Jack Bruen Fund.
Several athletes under Boeheim’s tutelage have been named Wooden All-Americans, including Rony Seikaly (1988), Sherman Douglas (1989), Derrick Coleman (1990), Billy Owens (1991) and Hakim Warrick (2005).