Syracuse Basketball: Who is Adrian Autry? A deep dive on new head coach

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

New Syracuse basketball head coach Adrian Autry is off to a fast start as the boss on the Hill, already having landed a top-flight transfer and hitting the recruiting trail hard.

Autry, not too long ago, was named as the replacement for the legendary Hall of Famer Jim Boeheim as the head coach of the Orange. Boeheim retired from the ‘Cuse after 47 seasons and the second-most career wins in the history of Division I men’s basketball.

The ascension by Adrian Autry to the top of the Syracuse basketball program, from a coaching perspective, is rather fantastic. He is a tremendous recruiter and has strong ties in the fertile Washington, D.C., market and elsewhere throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

It will be a huge challenge for Autry to “replace” Boeheim, although after the Orange went a combined 33-32 over the past two terms and didn’t make the post-season either year, a lot of ‘Cuse fans, myself included, were ready for a change at the head-coaching spot.

Autry, a New York City native, is a former Syracuse basketball star who first got into coaching with a high school in Virginia back in 2006. Now, he’s a first-time head coach for the Orange, one of the biggest brands in collegiate hoops.

Let’s look at the career of new Syracuse basketball head coach Adrian Autry.

Only a short time into his new position as head coach of the ‘Cuse, Autry scored a major recruiting win when Notre Dame transfer J.J. Starling committed to the Orange a few days ago.

Starling, a 2022 five-star guard and top-25 national prospect in that class, said in interviews that his strong relationship with Autry was a huge reason why he picked the ‘Cuse after entering the NCAA’s transfer portal.

Adrian Autry is known for forging stellar relationships with recruits, and that absolutely should prove huge as Syracuse basketball looks to return to its glory days of years past.

Speaking of the past, per, Autry was a McDonald’s All-American in 1990 as a product of St. Nicholas of Tolentine High School in the Bronx, N.Y.

He was a first-team All-New York City selection three times and suited up on New York City and New York state championship squads in 1988.

In Central New York, Autry’s tenure as a ‘Cuse player spanned from 1990 to 1994, with the Orange going to the NCAA Tournament three times. He graduated from SU in 1994 with a degree in speech communication.

Autry’s professional career included stops in the United States Basketball League, as well as playing for teams in countries such as Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia, Turkey and Venezuela.

It was early in 2006 when Adrian Autry broke into coaching as an associate head coach at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, Va.

Autry also got involved with grassroots basketball, first being a coach with NoVA United and then Triple Threat, which would transform into the Washington, D.C.-based Team Takeover, one of the top AAU programs in Nike’s EYBL league.

Alumnus of Team Takeover, by the way, include former Syracuse basketball player and current NBA star Jerami Grant, as well as current Orange sophomore forward Benny Williams and freshman wing Justin Taylor.

From Bishop Ireton, Autry then served as an assistant coach at powerhouse Northern Virginia program St. Paul VI Catholic High School, which these days is in Chantilly, Va., and earned one of eight invites to the upcoming 2023 GEICO Nationals in Ft. Myers, Fla.

Autry reached the collegiate level in 2008 when he was hired as director of basketball operations at Virginia Tech, later getting promoted to an assistant coach for the Hokies.

Prior to the 2011-12 season, Autry joined his alma mater as an assistant coach for the ‘Cuse. In March of 2017, he was promoted to associate head coach.

Nearly six years after that promotion, on March 8 of this year, SU Athletics said that Adrian Autry would replace Jim Boeheim as the new head coach of Syracuse basketball.

"In the SU Athletics statement announcing Autry was the team’s new head coach, Syracuse Orange athletic director John Wildhack said in part, “We are fortunate to have someone of Coach Autry’s talent, experience and character taking the reins of Syracuse basketball. Not only is he an exceptional Xs and Os coach, he’s also an outstanding recruiter, selfless mentor, dedicated community leader and a passionate Orange ambassador. I am thrilled to see what he will do with this program as its head coach.”"

Adrian and his wife, Andrea, live in Jamesville, N.Y., with their children, Trey and Nina. Trey Autry is a three-star shooting guard in the 2023 class who is committed to George Washington.

Adrian’s daughter, Aliyah, and his son, Adrian Jr., graduated from SU in 2017 and 2019, respectively.

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