Last night watching the Seton Hall-Louisville game (the Pirates got embarrassed), ESPNU showed a graphic about how many coaches in Division 1 basketball were assistants under Rick Pitino.
After some investigative research TCC uncovered that 21 of Pitino's former assistants and players went on to coach division 1 college basketball. Billy Donovan at Florida, Tubby Smith in Minnesota and Mick Cronin at Cincinnati to name a few notables.
This got me to thinking about Jim Boeheim's staff over the years. I knew that Rick Pitino was an assistant under Jimmy B. When Coach Boeheim hired Pitino in 1976 he was the first assistant he brought in to help lead the Orangemen.
I reached for my trusted "Orange Handbook" as I knew there was a picture in there with Pitino and Boeheim together (above). Sure enough there was three very young and very recognizable figures. From left to right: Rick Pitino, Mark Meadors, Jim Boeheim and Bernie Fine (sporting a real nice mustache).
Many of you are probably wondering the same thing I wondered when I saw this picture. Who is Mark Meadors? Bernie Fine has been Jim Boeheim's 'Gal Friday' since the beginning. Rick Pitino is one of the iconic coaches in the Big East. Jim Boeheim is god. That's all a given.
Who is Mark Meadors? [Note: I was born in 1984]
Thanks to the good folks at Orange Hoops, we learn that Mark Meadors played at SU for the 1973-74 and 1974-75 seasons. Meadors, who is from Wolcott, CT, averaged 2.1 points per game in his 29 game career at Syracuse.
Mark Meadors was a forward off the bench on the varsity basketball team, however on the freshman team Meadors averaged 20.7 points per game. In an interesting twist that will more than likely never happen again, Meadors quit the basketball team before his senior season to coach the freshman team, known at the time as the "Tangerines."
Upon Meadors' graduation from Syracuse University in 1976 Jim Boeheim hired him to serve as an assistant on his first coaching staff. He remained in that role until 1979. From 1980 until 1983 Mark Meadors worked as the television color commentator for Syracuse Basketball games. He did games part-time until 1987, at which point Meadors was searching for regular, non hoops related, employment.
Meadors first worked at the Carrier Corporation, however took a job at Tronox, Inc. in 2000 as the Vice President of Human Resources after working at York International for over 12 years. Tronox, a company headquartered in Oklahoma City, is the world's 3rd largest producer and marketer of titanium dioxide pigment. In 2008, Tronox and Mark Meadors parted ways.
Currently Mark Meadors works at Terminix, a sales and inspection services company also located in Oklahoma City. According to his linkedin profile, this is a consumer services company, and Meadors is responsible for implementing the "6 point customer service formula" and insuring all customer needs are clearly understood and alternative solutions are presented.
From the looks of things, much like Bernie Fine, Mark Meadors no longer sports a mustache. I'd be interested to know if Mark still follows the team today. Perhaps we can get a followup story in the future if he accepts my Linkedin connection request.
Photo courtesy of the "Orange Handbook" by Bob Snyder, copyright 1996