Syracuse Orange men’s basketball head coach Jim Boeheim has already won a national championship, attained gold in the Olympics, and had his name placed in the basketball hall-of-fame.
But yet, when you look to the sidelines, there he remains, coaching the Orange, showing his ability to withstand the tests of time.
Boeheim has consistently put together a winning program, seeking out and coaching players that have upheld the long storied tradition of success in orange and blue.
In respect and honor of his 900th victory, we rewind to the present, remembering how he got to this moment.
His first victory:
After playing for the Orange and serving as an assistant coach under Roy Danforth, Boeheim was elevated to the head coaching position after Danforth decided to travel south from Syracuse to Louisiana to coach at Tulane University.
There he was, in his early 30s, and the head coach of Syracuse University’s men’s basketball program.
Stepping onto the court for his first-ever game as Syracuse’s head coach, he stepped off with a victory over the Harvard Crimson on the road, 75-48, with Larry Kelley as the leading scorer with 12 points.
A win in his first game as the sideline leader only seemed fitting for a coach that would make winning synonymous with his name as he moved forward.
The win came on November 26, 1976, just nine days after he turned 32.
Boeheim reached his 100th win in exactly four seasons. Within his first four years at the helm of the Syracuse basketball team, Boeheim had already attained triple-digits in the win column.
The 100th victory came against the Villanova Wildcats, 97-83, who would be future rivals in the Big East Conference, which Syracuse had joined for the first time within this season, 1979-80. At the time, Villanova was a part of the Eastern Athletic Association (EAA).
It was the only victory for the Orange in the 1980 NCAA Tournament.
Eric Santifer led Syracuse as well as all scorers with 29 points.
It was Valentine’s Day, February 14th, in 1985. Syracuse was into Big East play, facing the Seton Hall Pirates in the Carrier Dome.
Boeheim had the opportunity to reach a milestone at home for the first time in his early career as the Orange head coach.
His players responded by shutting down the Pirates for a 30-plus-point win, 94-62.
Wendell Alexis attained the most points for the Orange in the game with 17.
A little over three years later, on December 30, 1988, Boeheim had added another 100 victories to his growing tally.
The Orange faced the Red Flash of Saint Francis (PA) in the Carrier Dome. Syracuse won commandingly, 105-63, against the Northeast Conference representative, helping Boeheim to his second-consecutive milestone reached on his home-court.
Stephen Thompson was the leading scorer with 22 points.
During the 1992-93 season, Boeheim was standing at 399 wins with the Orange playing host to the Hurricanes of Miami (FL), who was a Big East foe at the time.
On that day, January 9, 1993, Boeheim attained his third-straight milestone at home in the Carrier Dome as a result of Syracuse winning a close contest, 89-81.
John Wallace, who would help lead the Orange to the NCAA national championship game in 1996, led all scorers with 23 points.
Number 500 :
In the 1996-97 campaign, Boeheim would attain his 500th career victory as Syracuse’s head coach. The win would come versus longtime Big East adversary, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, on February 22, 1997.
This would be Boeheim’s fourth-consecutive victory inside familiar walls, with the 92-62 win happening at the Carrier Dome.
Jason Cipolla and Otis Hill, both coming off the loss in the NCAA national championship against the Kentucky Wildcats from the season before, led the team with 19 points apiece.
At the end of the 2000-01 season, Boeheim had done something that he had not accomplished since the 1979-80 campaign: he had reached a milestone on the final win of the season.
With 599 career victories, Boeheim led the Orange into the NCAA Tournament against the Hawaii Warriors, who were in the Western Athletic Conference at the time and have since moved to the Big West Conference. He came out with his 600th victory as a result of Syracuse’s 79-69 advantage at the buzzer.
It was the only victory for the Orange in the 2001 NCAA Tournament and second time Boeheim reached a milestone from a win in the national tournament.
Damone Brown, in his final win in a Syracuse uniform, led the Orange with 20 points.
Boeheim’s 700th career win came in Syracuse’s final win of the 2004-05 regular season.
On February 26, 2005, on his home-court once again, Boeheim would coach the Orange to a 91-66 victory over Big East opponent, the Providence Friars. It was Syracuse’s final home game of the season.
Hakim Warrick would lead the team in this match with 36 points.
Syracuse would proceed to win the Big East Tournament that followed, with three straight victories at Madison Square Garden.
Boeheim got his 800th win out of the way early, guiding Syracuse to a 75-43 victory over in-state opponent, the Albany Great Danes, in the first game of the 2009-10 season.
The Orange win over the Great Danes of the America East Conference was attained on their home-court, giving Boeheim his second-consecutive milestone win in the Carrier Dome.
Arinze Onuaku was the leading scorer with 14 points.
The win came on November 9, 2009, just eight days before Boeheim’s 65th birthday.
Boeheim’s most recent accomplishment came against the University of Detroit Mercy Titans on December 17th, 2012.
The game ended close, 72-68, with Michael Carter-Williams' free throws within the final minute the difference in the game.
James Southerland attained the most points for Syracuse with 22.
Once again, Boeheim reached a milestone in front of his home crowd, on the court that he once played on and has since coached on for now his 37th season at the helm of the Orange.
This win marks the sixth time that Boeheim reached a 100-win milestone while on the Syracuse University campus, which is fitting as the Orange improved to 30-0 at home with the win, dating back to the end of the 2010-11 season. Their 30-consecutive home winning streak under Boeheim is the longest active streak among all NCAA Division I men’s basketball programs.
Boeheim has never coached the Orange to a losing season in 36 attempts, and has continued his history of winning this season with Syracuse off to a 10-0 start.
In 34 of the past 36 seasons, Boeheim has led the Orange to at least 20 wins.
Syracuse, under Boeheim, has attained 25 or more wins in 19 of those 34 seasons, with the Orange advancing to 30 or more wins in five of those campaigns.
The Orange have made it to the NCAA Tournament in 29 of Boeheim’s 36 seasons, leading into this season.
Boeheim has helped Syracuse reach the NCAA Tournament national championship on three separate occasions, 1987, 1996, and 2003, aiding them to a national title in the 2003 match-up with the Kansas Jayhawks of the Big 12 Conference.