Louis Orr

Syracuse basketball legend Louis Orr, who played between 1976 and 1980 and was a member of Jim Boeheim’s first recruiting class, has died at the age of 64 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Orr and teammate Roosevelt Bouie formed the “Louie and Bouie Show” and propelled Syracuse into a new stratosphere of success early in Boeheim’s career. Orr’s Syracuse teams went 100-18 during his four seasons. He scored 1,487 points and helped the Orangemen make four NCAA Tournaments.

“It’s a real hard one,’’ Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said Friday to Syracuse.com. “It’s really difficult. He was really one of the best of all us.’’

Orr was selected by the Indiana Pacers in the 1980 NBA Draft and played eight years in the NBA, most of which were with the New York Knicks. He then moved into the coaching world, working as an assistant at Xavier, Providence, and Syracuse before becoming head coach at Siena, Seton Hall, and Bowling Green. Over 13 seasons as a head coach, he compiled a 201-201 record and went to the NCAA Tournament twice, both with Seton Hall.

There was an outpouring of appreciation for Orr from many around the college basketball world, including those in and around the Syracuse basketball program.

“Louis Orr was the greatest man I’ve had the pleasure to know. He came into my life as my first recruit, became a fantastic coach and colleague—but most importantly, he became a dear friend. I will treasure our years together. Sending my love to his family and our Orange family,” wrote Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim.

“So heartbroken with the news of Louis Orr’s passing. My first Syracuse recruit n Knick player was as kind a person to play in the NBA – our thoughts and prayers are with his family,” wrote Iona coach Rick Pitino.

“Saddened beyond words to learn of the passing of Syracuse all-time great Louis Orr. A class act, always,” wrote ESPN’s Jay Bilas.

“Louis was a wonderful person, a gentleman by every sense of the definition. True class! His impact on the people that were fortunate enough to be in his presence is everlasting,” wrote Syracuse assistant coach Gerry McNamara.

[Syracuse.com, Image via Syracuse Men’s Basketball]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.