When Mike Hopkins left the Syracuse Orange for the Washington Huskies, it opened up an assistant coach spot in the immediate term.
There are plenty of former Jim Boeheim proteges in the college basketball coaching ranks, but the clubhouse favorite to sill the empty seat seemed to be Dayton assistant (and former Orange player and staffer) Allen Griffin.
As Griffin revealed to Syracuse.com’s Donna Ditota, however, he’s in a bit of a holding pattern since his boss -- Archie Miller -- just left the Flyers to take the Indiana Hoosiers’ job.
Dayton’s head coaching job remains vacant for now. Griffin may seem unlikely to be promoted to that role, but he’s certainly not taking himself out of contention either. With Miller headed to Indiana, he could potentially head that way too. As we know from recent football hiring moves, the Hoosiers have more money to burn on assistants than SU does.
For Griffin, it will likely come down to a little bit of that -- and even more of what leaves him in the best position to be a head coach (now or in the near future). It’ll also come down to whether he truly is the leading candidate for the role — something that will ultimately be dictated by his former coach, Boeheim. From his conversation with Ditota:
"I know (Jim)'s not in a rush to do anything. He wants to pick the right person for the job and you can only respect that. I'm going to sit back and kinda wait.”
Griffin played for Boeheim at Syracuse from 1997 through 2001. He averaged 6.1 points and 3.1 assists per game over the course of his career, though his senior season showed huge gains up to 10.8 points and 6.5 assists per game. After a couple years in Europe and the D-League, he came back to SU as an administrative assistant. Griffin departed the Orange again, time as to serve as an assistant coach at St. Francis. He also served on the Hofstra and Providence staffs before his current gig at Dayton began five years ago.
Syracuse currently has two assistants on staff in Adrian Autry and Gerry McNamara. Both recently received slight promotions (and likely pay bumps) following Hopkins’s move to UW.
There is no timetable for Boeheim to add a third assistant, though one would think he’ll want to move on that role soon given how late in the game things are with regard to recruiting and locking up another couple players for 2017.