It wasn’t an entire postal annex that needed to be built. Yet the attention Tad Boyle was generating nationally nevertheless required some internal adjustments.
This wasn’t a decade ago, when Boyle was on the heels of a Pac-12 Conference tournament championship and, still early in his tenure at the University of Colorado, was considered a hot up-and-coming coaching prospect that Buffaloes fans feared might get lured away by a more renowned basketball program.
No, this was more than 40 years ago, when a teenaged Boyle was lighting up gymnasiums in Greeley and the new head coach at Central High, Larry Hicks, had to install an extra mailbox in the main office to handle the recruiting inquiries flooding in from around the country.
Boyle has kept generating interest in Colorado basketball in the 40 years since. On Wednesday, one of the unique careers in the state’s basketball history will have an opportunity to reach another lofty milestone, as the Buffaloes complete the nonconference portion of the schedule at home against Southern Utah. A CU victory would be No. 262 for Boyle with the Buffs, breaking Sox Walseth’s program record that Boyle tied on Sunday when the Buffs topped his former team, Northern Colorado.
“He’s as good a person as he is a coach,” Hicks said. “Tad had always told me the dream job for him would be at Colorado. In tough times, he’s pulled that thing together there. If he lost every game, I’d take pride in Tad Boyle. But the record is super. It shows stability. It shows consistency. At times Tad has to rebuild, and he has people leave and go to the NBA. That’s what this is. Those kids are good. But they’re not consistently good. But I know they’re in the best hands they could (have) with Tad.”
Boyle goes into Wednesday’s game with a mark of 261-160 at CU, sporting a winning percentage of .620 that is just a few fractions behind Forrest B. Cox’s program record of .623. Only Walseth, who coached 506 games for the CU men’s team in 20 seasons, has led the Buffs through more seasons or games than Boyle, who goes into his 422nd game against Southern Utah.
No CU coach has recorded more combined NCAA Tournament and NIT wins than Boyle’s seven (Cox is next with five). He has led the Buffs to the NCAA tourney five times and had a sixth berth earned in 2020 before the tournament was canceled at the start of the COVID pandemic. Nine of the 13 20-win seasons in program history have occurred under Boyle’s watch.
Asked recently about the pending wins record, Boyle was quick to include the work of two staff members that have been with him at CU since the beginning — associate head coach Mike Rohn and director of operations Bill Cartun.
“The win total is a function of longevity. It’s a function of coaching good players,” Boyle said. “I look at Mike Rohn. I look at Bill Cartun. I look at Marge Marcy, who’s our administrative assistant in the office. I look at Mindy Sclaro, our academic (leader). They’ve all been here the same amount of time. I’ve always said leaders get more blame than they probably deserve when things don’t go well. And they get more credit than they deserve when they do go well. A lot of people deserve a lot of the credit as well.
“It doesn’t happen without good players. And good players doesn’t happen without good staff members. It means a lot to me, because Colorado basketball means a lot to me. This is where I’ve made my home. Hopefully, when it is time for me to move on, we’ve left something we can be proud of. And certainly left the program in better shape than we found it. I don’t plan on leaving any time soon. ”
Southern Utah Thunderbirds at CU Buffs men’s basketball
TIPOFF: Wednesday, 5 p.m., CU Events Center.
TV/RADIO: TV — Pac-12 Mountain. Radio — KOA 850 AM and 94.1 FM
RECORDS: Southern Utah 8-4; Colorado 7-5.
COACHES: Southern Utah — Todd Simon, 7th season (104-98, 122-113 overall). Colorado — Tad Boyle, 13th season (261-160, 317-226 overall).
KEY PLAYERS: Southern Utah — G Tevian Jones, 6-7, Sr. (20.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg); G Harrison Butler, 6-5, Gr. (13.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg); C Jason Spurgin, 6-11, Jr. (10.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg, .608 field goal percentage); G Drake Allen, 6-4, So. (9.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, .584 field goal percentage); F Maizen Fausett, 6-6, Sr. (9.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg). Colorado — G KJ Simpson, 6-2, So. (16.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.7 apg); F Tristan da Silva, 6-9, Jr. (14.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, .527 field goal percentage); F J’Vonne Hadley, 6-6, Jr. (10.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg, .554 field goal percentage).
NOTES: Regarding reserve forward Luke O’Brien, who missed Sunday’s win against Northern Colorado due to an undisclosed injury, CU coach Tad Boyle said, “He’ll probably be out (Wednesday). I don’t know.”…This is only the second matchup between the programs. Southern Utah posted an 82-80 overtime win in Boulder on Jan. 16, 1996…With 25 points against North Alabama and 26 on Sunday against Northern Colorado, CU forward Tristan da Silva is the first Buffs player to score at least 25 points in consecutive games since George King early in the 2017-18 season. With 17 rebounds in those two games as well, da Silva has raised is rebounding average from 4.0 to 4.8…CU backup guard Javon Ruffin has recorded just two turnovers over the past eight games, spanning 103 minutes…Southern Utah lost by just six points at No. 4 Kansas on Nov. 18…The Buffs don’t play again until they resume Pac-12 play with a two-game trip through the Bay Area, beginning with a Dec. 29 date at Stanford (9 p.m. MT, ESPNU).
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