Syracuse Basketball: Gerry McNamara, Allen Griffin staying at SU is huge

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

Assistant coaches and former Syracuse basketball players Gerry McNamara and Allen Griffin will remain part of the coaching staff under new Orange head coach Adrian Autry, per SU Athletics, and I’m delighted to hear this news.

Last week, Syracuse University officials said that Autry would replace long-time boss Jim Boeheim as the new ‘Cuse head coach. I assumed and had hoped that McNamara and Griffin would stay on the Hill to lead Syracuse basketball alongside Autry, and they are.

Personally, I believe that Gerry McNamara and Allen Griffin are excellent coaches and also terrific recruiters. As I noted earlier this week, those two and Autry have already hit the ground running on the recruiting trail.

McNamara, a 2006 alumnus of SU, has been promoted to associate head coach, SU Athletics says. Griffin, a 2001 alumnus of Syracuse University, will continue as an assistant coach.

Gerry McNamara and Allen Griffin will remain on the Syracuse basketball coaching staff, and that’s critical.

McNamara, who as a freshman helped lead the Orange to the program’s first and only national title in 2003, became a full-time assistant coach at his alma mater starting with the 2011-12 campaign.

"GMac, as fans love to call him, primarily works with the team’s guards. “He’s earned this well-deserved promotion to Associate Head Coach. Gerry is an excellent recruiter and has done tremendous work developing our guards. I’m thrilled he will continue to grow his career at Syracuse,” said ‘Cuse athletic director John Wildhack in a statement from SU Athletics."

In his years on the Orange coaching staff, Gerry McNamara has coached numerous guards who have gone on to professional careers, such as Buddy Boeheim, Michael Carter-Williams, Tyler Ennis, Elijah Hughes, Cole Swider, Dion Waiters, Tyus Battle, Michael Gbinije, John Gillon and Brandon Triche.

Allen Griffin, like McNamara, is a key recruiter for Syracuse basketball. Griffin, who mainly works with the team’s post players, has served as an assistant coach at the ‘Cuse since 2017. He has also been an assistant coach at St. Francis (N.Y.), Providence, Hofstra and Dayton.

While on the Hill, Griffin has played a key role in developing big men such as senior center Jesse Edwards, who made the All-ACC third-team and the All-ACC defensive squad during the 2022-23 season, as well as Paschal Chukwu, Bourama Sidibe and others.

Full disclosure: I’m a big fan of Allen Griffin. He played on four NCAA Tournament teams for the Orange from 1997 to 2001. I was a student at SU from 1996 to 2000. So I have fond memories of Griffin and those ‘Cuse groups.

"Autry said in a announcement, “It was very important to me that we keep Allen Griffin a part of our coaching staff. He’s played a crucial role in recruiting, in developing our student-athletes as players and young men, and in our commitment to the high standards of Syracuse basketball.”"

As a fanatic of ‘Cuse hoops for decades, trust me, I’m sad that Jim Boeheim’s tenure is over. But I’m excited about the future. And I’m super stoked that Allen Griffin and Gerry McNamara are teaming up with Adrian Autry to form a fabulous Syracuse basketball coaching staff.

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