Jim Boeheim worked what could be his last game as head coach of Syracuse on Wednesday.
If so, he wasn’t ready to take the call at his post-game news conference. In fact, it looks like he’s not ready to make the call at all. When asked about retirement after a 77–74 loss to Wake Forest in the ACC Tournament, Boehm repeatedly told reporters that the decision was up to Syracuse.
“It’s up to the university,” Boehm said when asked whether he is retiring.
He was then asked if this meant he wanted to come back.
“I didn’t say that,” replied Boehm.
“You’re not saying you’re retiring?” a reporter asked.
“I just said, I don’t know,” Boehm replied. … “I said it’s up to the university.”
This did not clear things up at all. When pressed again at the end of the news conference, here’s what Boehm had to say:
“I said it’s up to the university,” Boehm continued. “He has to make his decision, and it is up to him. I hope to come to a good agreement. It remains to be seen.”
The waiting game continues.
Boehm is an icon at Syracuse, having coached the men’s basketball team for 47 years. It’s a period that saw the Orange win the entirety of its Big East existence from 1979–2013 and 10 seasons since its landscape-shattering move to the ACC. It’s a span that includes 35 NCAA tournament appearances, five Final Fours, and a 2003 national championship featuring Carmelo Anthony.
Boehm’s old coaching rivals and sporting legends John Thompson, Roy Williams and Mike Krzyzewski. He is 78 years old and is coming off his second straight season without an NCAA Tournament bid and third place in the Final Four. He has apparently been asked about retirement for most of the season. But he hasn’t taken the call yet – at least publicly.
If this was indeed Boehm’s last game as head coach at Syracuse, he went out in dramatic fashion. The Orange rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit only to see senior Wake Forest guard Devian Williamson hit a last-second 3-pointer to win the game for the Demon Deacons.
The loss ensured that Syracuse would not make a surprise run to the ACC Tournament title, its only route to the NCAA Tournament this year.