Jim Boeheim is the long-time head coach of the men’s basketball team at Syracuse University. The 2006 John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award recipient, who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005, has never lost a season since he began coaching in 1976.
Boeheim has led his team to three NCAA championship games during this time, but only managed one tournament win in 2003. Read on to learn more about his achievements and his private life.
Jim Boeheim was born the son of James Arthur Boeheim as the son of Janet and Jim Boeheim Sr. on November 17, 1944, in Lyon, New York, where he also grew up. As a child attending the Central High School in Lyon, Boeheim loved basketball but was not considered good enough as he was not recruited by any college.
After graduating, he enrolled at Syracuse University, where he played on the school’s basketball team. By the time he was in his senior year, Boeheim had become a much better basketball player and was named captain of the team. That year, he led the school to a 22-6 record, which brought them into the NCAA tournament for only the second time in their history. Boeheim graduated with a bachelor’s degree in social sciences before embarking on a professional basketball career, winning two championships with the Scranton Miners of the Eastern Professional Basketball League.
After his short-lived professional basketball career, Jim Boeheim decided to pursue a coaching career in 1969. He found his first job by chance at his alma mater, where he was hired as a certified assistant. A few years later, Boeheim was promoted to full-time assistant coach and was a member of the coaching team that helped the school win its first NCAA Final Four tournament in 1975.
The following year, Boeheim’s boss gave up his position as head coach for another, so that he could take over the role. In his first season in charge, the rookie coach helped his school set a 26-4 record and an NCAA tournament sweet-16 place. Under Boeheim’s leadership, Syracuse soon became a multi-year team after the season, appearing in either the NCAA or NIT tournaments every year in the 1980s. In 1986, the year Syracuse finished second in the NCAA tournament, Jim Boeheim was offered the position of head coach in the state of Ohio but declined to continue his stay at his alma mater. Since then, he has remained very loyal to the school, with which he has enjoyed considerable success in his more than four-decade career as a college basketball coach.
In the 1990s, Jim Boeheim became the national coach of the USA while still a Syracuse coach. He initially served as an assistant coach for the US team that participated in the 1990 FIBA World Championship. In 2001, he led the Young Men’s Team that won gold at the World Championship in Japan, earning him the title of “USA Basketball 2001 National Coach of the Year. Subsequently, he was one of the coaching teams that participated in the 2006 FIBA World Championship, the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, and the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Jim Boeheim’s Salary
For his role as head coach of the men’s basketball team at Syracuse University, Jim Boeheim takes home an annual salary of $2.144 million, making him the university’s highest-paid employee. Compared to his colleagues, however, Boeheim ranks 20th among the highest-paid coaches, with the highest-earning Mike Krzyzewski from Duke University being the highest earner, with over $7 million.
Family – Wife, Son, and Daughter
Jim Boeheim is currently married to Julie Boeheim (née Greene). The couple is said to have met in 1994 at a party in Lexington on Derby Day. Legend has it that the two started meeting almost shortly after their first meeting before they exchanged vows three years later in 1997.
Julie Boeheim, who is 21 years younger than her husband, was born in Miami, Florida, but grew up in Kentucky, where she attended the University of Kentucky and graduated in merchandising, apparel and textiles. Together, the couple raised three children: Jimmy and twins, Buddy and Jamie. Boeheim has another child, a daughter named Elizabeth, from his first marriage to Elaine Boeheim, which lasted 18 years.