The Syracuse Orange made the move many expected in choosing Felicia Legette-Jack to take over the women’s basketball program. The Syracuse native and Orange legend will have her work cut out in rebuilding the program after the departure of Quentin Hillsman and 18 roster or committed players in the last year.
Legette-Jack just led Buffalo to their fourth NCAA appearance in her ten years as Head Coach. She was a head coach previously at Hofstra and Buffalo and now returns to the school where she starred as a player and served as an assistant. In her playing career for the Orange, Legette-Jack scored over 1500 points and grabbed over 900 rebounds. She was the first women’s basketball player to have her jersey retired in the Carrier Dome and now she is back home and ready to work.
“My goal is simple: pursue championships in the classroom and on the basketball court. We will build our program with our C.A.B. philosophy: character, academics and basketball. We will work tirelessly to help our team understand that character will always be first, academics will be a close second and we will find the best athletes in the world to make you all proud.” Felisha Legette-Jack
Syracuse finished the 21-22 season with a record of 11-18, 4-14 in the ACC. The Orange had three players announce intentions to transfer this week and no signed recruits for next Fall so Legette-Jack will need to work quickly to build a roster to compete next season.
No matter what happens on the court the next few seasons, this was a hire Syracuse needed to make to restore credibility in the program. The Orange are only six years removed from playing for the National Championship but after the events of last off-season it feels like they have a long road towards earning back the trust of players and parents. Legette-Jack’s connections to Syracuse and her passion for her alma mater will go a long way for the Orange to rebuild. From a PR standpoint, this hire is an absolute win and even if the on-court success doesn’t follow this feels like a turning point for the program’s rebirth.