Foreward by Dave Bing
Dave Bing is an SU All-American, NBA Hall of Famer, and former Mayor of Detroit. He is the founder of Bing Youth Institute in Detroit, Michigan.
I have fond memories of Jimmy Boeheim during our years at Syracuse University. Our friendship has lasted 56 years, and the life lessons learned at Syracuse have lasted a lifetime. My experiences there provided me with the knowledge and value system that has guided me throughout my professional and personal life.
In the Zone is an outstanding book. It captures the essence of what it’s like to live and bleed Orange. And, it tells in vivid detail how Jim became the face of Syracuse basketball. This book provides an up close and personal look at the inner workings of a basketball program that went from good to being a powerhouse under Jim’s leadership.
Donald Staffo has a unique writing style that makes the book enjoyable to read. He states in the Preface that he “tried to paint a picture” that will enable Syracuse fans to relive their memories. The detailed descriptions of Syracuse’s biggest games and key events and the mini-profiles of the Orange’s top players certainly do that. Mission accomplished!
Jim is one of the greatest college basketball coaches of all time. For anyone who is a fan of Syracuse basketball — or simply loves college basketball in general — this book offers an insider’s look into the talent and motivation of the legendary Hall of Fame coach and his huge influence on the SU program.
Staffo provides an extremely detailed account of how Jim’s love for the game propelled him to more than 1,000 wins in a remarkable run as Syracuse’s head coach. This book offers a thorough account of how Jim has led Syracuse to success year after year, while also navigating challenges and scandals that sometimes arose during his career. Additionally, Staffo offers a peek into Jim Boeheim, the person. The caring man who made it his mission to raise awareness and money in the fight against cancer and to support many other charitable causes.
This is the most comprehensive book on Syracuse and Jim Boeheim that I am aware of. I, and I’m sure my teammates, appreciate the time, incredible amount of research and work that the author put in to share the Syracuse basketball story with not only the Orange Nation, but with fans and followers of college basketball. I give the book my stamp of approval.
I loved Syracuse when I was a student there. And, I still love Syracuse. The years I spent at SU had a tremendous impact on my life and career. So has my friendship with Jim.
And, without a doubt, Jimmy Boeheim’s imprint will remain on Syracuse basketball, now and far into the future.
I hope you enjoy In the Zone: Jim Boeheim and Syracuse Basketball.
NBA All-Star & Hall of Famer, Former Mayor of Detroit, and Founder of Bing Youth Institute
Reviews and Endorsements
“If you are a big fan of college basketball, and specifically Syracuse, you will love the work of Donald Staffo in his new book entitled “IN THE ZONE: JIM BOEHEIM AND SYRACUSE BASKETBALL”. Staffo gives a detailed look at the life of Jim Boeheim as the leader of Syracuse hoops His info and detailed description of the career of the legendary Hall of Fame coach is unique and a must read for Syracuse basketball fans.” Thumbs up sign. Dick Vitale, ESPN basketball commentator
“It’s a terrific book. Don Staffo nailed it. It’s all true, it’s accurate, it’s a great read that involved an incredible amount of research. It’s better than Jim’s book, Bleeding Orange, and I told Jim that.” Rich Duffy, Boeheim’s Syracuse teammate and a lifelong friend.
“I’ve read many books about Syracuse basketball over the years since my graduation from SU in 1968. This one is the most insightful and comprehensive of any I've seen. Having spent eight years assembling the manuscript, it has to be a labor of love from a man that really covered all the bases.” George Hicker, Boeheim’s Syracuse teammate and a lifelong friend.
“The book keeps you reading…It’s hard to believe that it covers so many bases. There is a lot of stuff that I had forgotten…I have no doubt SU fans would enjoy it.” John Pitarresi, retired long-time SU basketball beat writer Utica Observer-Dispatch
“Even considering the cavalcade of bold face names that are part of the history of Syracuse sports, Jim Boeheim is at, or near, the top of the list. His combination of endurance and excellence have made him iconic, both in his sport, and at his University.” Bob Costas
“As the nearest daily newspaper to Jim Boeheim’s hometown of Lyons, NY, our readers have been following his career closely since he was a high school hoops star. Don Staffo’s engaging book is packed with enough anecdotes, colorful stories and facts, however, to satisfy not only the casual basketball or Syracuse fan but also those diehards from Lyons and the Finger Lakes Region who thought they knew everything there was to know about Boeheim. An enjoyable read that will keep Cuse fans engaged page after page. I liked the book a lot. It stacks right up there with any book on Boeheim that I've read, including his own. And very creative in places.” Michael J. Cutillo, executive editor and former sports editor, The Finger Lakes Times (Geneva, NY)
“For those of us who bleed Orange, the author has surely done his homework in order to bring us unique insight into Jim Boeheim, the coach, the man and Syracuse basketball. I really enjoyed the book. Read it, you'll like it!” Dennis Flottman, Syracuse fan