CNY Native's book gets to the core of Coach Jim Boeheim's character

Biographer Scott Pitoniak discussed his book, "Color Him Orange: The Jim Boeheim Story" at the Dewitt Barnes & Noble Friday.

Themes focus on the ups-and-downs of Syracuse University basketball, and the core of Jim Boeheim's character.


itoniak has covered Syracuse Basketball since he was a student at the University in the mid 1970's.


is senior year coincided with Boeheim's first year as head coach.


ack then, Pitoniak remembers Boeheim wearing plaid sports coats and big glasses.

When he
won 26 of 30 games that first season, he made his impact.

"The interesting thing to me is that you go back to when he showed up on campus in late summer of 1962, and essentially never left. There's this guy, this walk-on who nobody knew of and so forth and he's been that threat of this tremendous amount of success that Syracuse has had from that point on," says Pitoniak.

It was Boeheim's character, researching what it was that made the legendary coach the way he is, that intrigued Pitoniak the most.


he author says he went back to Boeheim's hometown to interview close friends, teachers and coaches, to learn the essence of the coach's character and competitive nature.


e traces it back to his relationship with his father.

"Jim's dad was a very, very intense man, very demanding. At times, the relationship between Jim and his dad was strained," the author explains. "But his dad really engraved in young Jim that competitive fire that has really served Jim well and enabled him to succeed. "

Pitoniak says Boeheim told him his relationship with his father was often more of a competition than a relationship.

The author credits Boeheim and well known SU basketball player, Dave Bing, as the engine that propelled Syracuse Basketball to become a national powerhouse.

He says he thinks Boeheim found "his perfect element" here in Syracuse, even though he was more than capable of coaching in the NBA.

"It's the perfect job, so why go for the greener grass someplace else, when you've found what you're looking for," says Pitoniak.

Pitoniak grew up in Rome, and now calls Rochester home.

To watch Multimedia Journalist Lewis Karpel's complete interview with the biographer, play the video above.