Jim Boeheim Planned to Retire After Next Year Before Mike Hopkins Left Syracuse

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2017

Syracuse’s assistant coach Mike Hopkins, left, and Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim, right, watch the action from the bench in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Elon in Syracuse, N.Y., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Nick Lisi)
Nick Lisi/Associated Press

Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim said at a Monday news conference he was planning on retiring after next season until assistant Mike Hopkins left to become Washington's new head coach, per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com).

Syracuse announced Sunday that Boeheim's contract was extended past the 2017-18 season.

Boeheim said Hopkins—who was the Orange's head coach-in-waiting—told him of Washington's offer during a "tearful meeting Saturday," per the AP. Boeheim also clarified he didn't attempt to change a previous agreement with the school to retire following the 2017-18 campaign.

Boeheim's insistence he didn't try to change the original agreement comes after Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated wrote in February, "Boeheim was essentially forced out because of Syracuse's significant NCAA issues. This doesn't sit well with him. People close to him still hold the belief that he'll somehow figure out a way to coach past next season."

Syracuse director of athletics John Wildhack admitted Hopkins' move changed the circumstances within the program, which led to the decision to extend Boeheim's contract and maintain some continuity, per the program's announcement.

Boeheim—who has led Syracuse to five Final Fours and a national championship—can now turn his attention toward next season, when the Orange will look to bounce back from missing this year's NCAA tournament.