The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball program has a long lineage of assistant coaches who were former players in the program. Considering Jim Boeheim has been at Syracuse since the Kennedy administration, there’s been ample opportunity for he to hire his former players.
We decided it’d be a fun exercise to go back and review assistant coaches, both current and former, through Syracuse basketball history. We won’t pick it up from the Paleozoic era that was Boeheim’s freshman season, instead we’ll start from the 21st century. Let’s dive in.
During the 1999-2000 campaign, Jim Boeheim had two former players on staff in Mike Hopkins and Louis Orr. Long time Syracuse assistant Bernie Fine was also on staff for that Syracuse team that reached the Sweet 16. Syracuse fell to the eventual champion Michigan State led by Mateen Cleaves.
In the following year, Orr took I-90 east and accepted the head coaching gig at Siena. He grabbed a cup of coffee in Albany before taking the Seton Hall job the following year, but in 2000-2001 season, Orr was replaced by Troy Weaver. Weaver of course was a venerable recruiter, well-renowned for getting that Carmelo Anthony guy.
Hop, Weavs and Bernie. No changes.
No changes although Brad Pike took the reigns as team trainer. This was an important year for a reason that eludes me at the time of writing.
No assistant coaching changes but ***IMPORTANT*** Allen Griffin joined the staff as an administrative assistant.
Weavs left for a coaching position with the Utah Jazz and this opened the door for Rob Murphy. Murphy was a key addition to the staff and left his mark with the Shut it Down campaign.
No changes to the staff in Gerry McNamara’s senior year. That McNamara name... (thinking emoji)
Murph. Hop. Bernie. No changes but Kip Wellman joined the team as a graduate manager. Welcome young dobo!
Hop. Murph. Bernie. Lazarus Sims, a former player who reached the NCAA title game, joined the team to assist with player development.
Hop. Murph. Bernie.
Hop. Murph. Bernie. Gerry joined the staff as a grad assistant. Welcome back, G!
Hop. Murph. Bernie and nothing else of note.
After Murph took the Eastern Michigan job, Syracuse helped fill the void with Adrian Autry, another former Syracuse player. In the midst of the season, Gerry was promoted to assistant coach.
Hop. Red. G-Mac.
Hop. Red. G-Mac and the return of Kip as the dobo.
Hop. Red. G.
Hop. Red. G.
Hop. Red. G.
Hey, that’s next season. If reports hold true, Allen Griffin is expected to help fill the void created by Hop. FWIW, Griffin should be a great hire and a solid recruiter.
Also an interesting note: if Griffin is hired, that will not only make three former Syracuse players on staff, but three former point guards. Not that Hop wasn’t shrewd (he certainly was), but that’s a cerebral group of assistants right there.