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Roasting Jim Boeheim: 500 friends surprised coach in Rochester. His ‘eyes filled with tears’

Syracuse, N.Y. ― Anyone who has ever tried to pull off a surprise party knows how hard it can be to keep the secret under wraps.

Imagine the challenge facing friends of Jim Boeheim when they tried to hold a tribute dinner for the former Syracuse University basketball coach with 500 people in attendance.

Bob Sansone, a long-time friend of Boeheim’s and the golf chair at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, wanted to surprise Boeheim, who retired in March after 47 years as Syracuse’s coach, with a dinner that was part tribute and part roast. To do it, he enlisted the help of Sean McDonough, the ESPN broadcaster and Syracuse alum.

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