The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

Campus Mass Thursday as Le Moyne Mourns Loss “That Breaks Our Hearts” – Deaths of Two Law Enforcement Officers With Close Ties to College
Campus Mass Thursday as Le Moyne Mourns Loss “That Breaks Our Hearts” – Deaths of Two Law Enforcement Officers With Close Ties to College
CMM-374 Class, Guest Writers • April 17, 2024

A Mass will be said at noon Thursday at the Panasci Family Chapel - and the flags on the Grewen quad will fly at half-staff until next week -...

Your Dolphy Day Guide: Tips and Strategies for Getting the Most Out of the Day!
Maria Randazzo, Director of the Wellness Center for Health and Counseling • April 16, 2024

All but freshman have experienced Dolphy Day so you know what to expect. Did you do it right last year, meaning you had a wonderful time with...

NASA Astronaut Jeanette Epps in action
From Syracuse to the Stars: Old Friend Marvels at Success of Astronaut Jeanette Epps
Kamilla Shahzad, Staff Writer • April 15, 2024

Jeanette Epps stands at the forefront of space exploration, embodying resilience, and intellect while breaking barriers and redefining boundaries....

Shot Clock, Precious Artifact of NBA History, at Le Moyne – But Out of View
Shot Clock, Precious Artifact of NBA History, at Le Moyne – But Out of View
Stephen Riale, Guest Writer • April 15, 2024

Tucked away in an unsuspecting corner of Le Moyne’s Noreen Reale Falcone library is a treasure trove of basketball history. The Syracuse...

Long-Unused Courtyard to Finally Reopen as a Community Space
Long-Unused Courtyard to Finally Reopen as a Community Space
Annie Hubert, Guest Writer • April 13, 2024

Riddled with cracked cement and overgrown weeds, the courtyard that lies between Grewen and Reilly halls has been left untouched by the Le Moyne...

‘Like we’ve come back home again’: Former Le Moyne Coach John Beilein, on school’s move to D-I

Beilein+addressing+the+class+over+Zoom
Beilein addressing the class over Zoom

John Beilein knows people might say that he’s totally delusional. But in a Zoom interview from Florida on Tuesday with a Le Moyne College sports journalism class, speaking of Le Moyne’s window for victory tonight in its first Division I men’s basketball game at Georgetown, Beilein said:

“Small teams with a steady roster are able to have a chance against a big team whose rosters are in flux.”

In other words, Beilein said he believes the Dolphins have at least a fighting chance against a historic college basketball powerhouse, known for its success under legendary Coach John Thompson – whom Beilein played against in his own college career at Wheeling Jesuit University.

Based on Beilein’s success, he would understand why Le Moyne can dream big. He coached Le Moyne for nine years, a connection so deep he still refers to it as a part of himself, using “we” or “us” when he refers to the school.

He went on to coach at Canisius, Richmond, West Virginia and two NCAA Final Four championship games at Michigan, his success at each school lifting him to the next, before his last coaching job was with the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association.

Beilein, still a player development consultant for the Detroit Pistons, said it’s hard to describe the historic importance of what tonight represents for Le Moyne.

Decades ago, in the 1950s, it wasn’t unusual for Le Moyne to play some of the more prestigious basketball schools in the East, such as Providence, Beilein said. That changed over the years, as Le Moyne settled into its role in Division II. So Beilein – who daydreams of home-and-home Le Moyne series with such established Upstate D-I schools as Canisius and Niagara, which would be easier on traveling while generating tremendous spectator interest – sees symmetry in the game tonight:

“It’s where we belong, like we’ve come back home again, to where we should be,” he said.

Looking back on his career, he said that every four-year senior who played for him “graduated easily.” He said the Division I “fit” for Le Moyne is even more powerful academically than athletically, because the move will shine an even more intense spotlight on the quality of Le Moyne’s Jesuit education, which he spoke of with passion.

Beilein, whose son Patrick also became a successful coach on the Heights, said he will never forget how Le Moyne “gave me an opportunity” to hone his coaching skills and attract attention in the basketball world. While he was the nephew of legendary Le Moyne coach and athletic director Tommy Niland Jr., he said no one on the hiring panel knew of their relationship until after the decision was made – which is the only way his fiercely competitive and by-the-book uncle would have it.

While Beilein chooses to be optimistic about Le Moyne’s chances to defeat Georgetown tonight, he said the outcome of the game will hardly define the program. What really matters, he said, is how Le Moyne does in its conference – and what the new Division I recognition can do for a school that he loves.

“We need some luck, we need to win some games, and we need to go about it in the right way, with integrity,” he said of what a D-I future holds.

Beilein’s children were born in Syracuse. His daughter Seana once dressed as a Dolphin for Halloween. His uncle helped shape the philosophy Beilein carried throughout his career.

In the big picture, Beilein said, he measures success by the academic prowess and career success of his players, rather than by wins and titles. Thinking of Le Moyne’s prospects for accomplishment on all levels of Division I, Beilein said simply:

“It can happen.”

(The student reporters who collectively wrote this story include: Stephen Moore, Edgar Daoud, Barbadu Raccha, Taliah Carmona, Ryan Hill, Luke Reistrom, Abby Files, Claire Rickett, Maddy Eisenberg, Lola Walsh, Andrew Janowski, Sebastian Russo, Sofi Cartini, Isabella Allen, Stephen Riale and Joe Pezzimenti.)

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