Q & A With Coach Boeheim

It was quite the off-season for Jim Boeheim, head coach of the national champion Syracuse Orangemen. From an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman to ringing the bell at the New York Stock Exchange, from a visit to The White House and a presentation from President Bush, from a downtown Syracuse parade to being honored in his hometown of Lyons, there weren't many dull moments for head coach Jim Boeheim. Mark Frank, however, managed to snag Boeheim for this exclusive Q&A for The Juice.

Q. Was the off-season even more than you could have imagined?

A. It was very busy. We're always pretty busy in the off-season but instead of one thing to do every day there were four or five. We just tried to pick out the best ones. But yeah, it's been very busy, very, very busy, but it's been a lot of fun, really good experiences. No complaints at all about it.

Q. You've obviously talked to a lot of head coaches who've won national championships. Did any of those conversations prepare you for what you went through and all the demands on your time, the travel, the appearances?

A. Probably not. Until you go through it, you probably don't realize what it's like. Someone once told me there's a big difference between finishing second and finishing first, and it's true.

Q. What was the most fun?

A. It's all been fun. I think the overall happiness that all our fans had has really stood out in my mind above all else. They were just totally euphoric about the whole thing, and that's great.

Q. You've seemed almost happier for the fans than yourself?

A. The whole Syracuse community, not just people here, but our alumni and fans all over the country. Every time I'm anywhere some Syracuse fan will come up to me and tell me what they were doing and how happy they were. That's been the best part.

Q. You and (associate head coach) Bernie Fine have been together for what seems like 90 years. Did you two have a private moment after the win over Kansas? Do you remember what you said to him?

A. No. We've been in this for a long time. It's been a long road. To go down that road this long and then finally accomplish this is satisfying.

More with coach Boeheim can be found in this month's issue of The Juice.

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