2013 Final Four, Syracuse vs. Michigan: The John Beilein Connections

Tom Pennington

Did you know that John Beilen is from Upstate New York and used to coach here? No? Well you will now.

Did you know that John Beilen is from Upstate New York and used to coach here? No? Well you will now. Either you can read every article that's going to be written about the game and get ready to hear it 97 times during the game or you can just get all the info below...

Beilen was born in Burt, NY, outside of Niagara. After going to school in West Virginia, he returned to NY to begin his coaching career, in which he has never worked as an assistant, working his way up from high school to Erie Community College for four years. After that it was on to Nazareth and then a little school called LeMoyne (163-94), where he was the coach between 1983 and 1992. LeMoyne obviously didn't play Syracuse during that time, but the connection begins there.

(Oddly enough, we played LeMoyne the year after Beilen left).

After LeMoyne, it was on to Canisius, where he ran the show from '92 to '97 (89-62). Again, surprisingly, we didn't play the Griffs during that time.

It wasn't until Beilen left NY and got to Richmond (100-53) that he finally faced Syracuse for the first of what would become nine losses. The first game was an early-season 1999 tip in the Dome, won by Syracuse by the score of 74-60. Etan Thomas scored 21. Two years later, the Orange and Spiders would meet in the NIT with Syracuse emerging victorious, 62-46.

The next year Beilen returned to the state of West Virginia to head up the West Virginia basketball program (104-60). In his five seasons with the Mounties, he played SU six times and lost them all. Particularly nasty was SU's 89-51 win in 2003 powered by Carmelo Anthony's 24 point evening.

Beilen might have thought he left SU behind when he shipped off to take over the Michigan program in 2007. However, Syracuse and Michigan found their way back to one another in 2010 at the Legends Classic in Atlantic City. The Wolverines actually played SU tough but the Orange eeked out a 53-50 win.

Nine games. Nine losses. Despite the immense success he's had as a head coach (414-259), he's never been able to best Jim Boeheim. Perhaps that's why Boeheim is quick to namecheck Beilen when a question about where he stacks up against quality coaches...


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