Oklahoma State has announced that assistant coach Mike Boynton is the new head coach of the Oklahoma State basketball team. Both Boynton and former Oklahoma State point guard and broadcaster Doug Gottlieb interviewed with a panel of Oklahoma State administrators and members of the Oklahoma State Board of Regents on Thursday. Also interviewed on Thursday were former Oklahoma State assistant and two-time Division I head coach James Dickey as well as current assistants Danny Henderson and Lamont Evans.
Boynton joined Oklahoma State last spring after Brad Underwood became head coach at Oklahoma State. He had come from Stephen F. Austin where he had coached with Underwood as an assistant for three seasons. He had been with Underwood previously at South Carolina, where both were on staff for current South Carolina head coach Frank Martin.
Thirty minutes prior to the announcement on Boynton, word came out that Doug Gottlieb was told he was not going to get the job. The popular former Cowboy player and broadcaster was called by Oklahoma State University athletic director Mike Holder and politely told thanks for the time invested, but that he was not going to get the job. Gottlieb was short with his response, but will now focus on his next broadcasting job with FS1 and Fox Sports Radio.
A close observer of the Oklahoma State basketball program told Go Pokes on Friday morning that while much of the attention toward the assistants for Underwood was on Danny Henderson, who had coached four state champions in the high school ranks in Texas and had coached both Phil Forte and Marcus Smart at Flower Mound Marcus High School, and that Henderson was an excellent X's and O's coach; and that Lamont Evans was considered a very strong recruiter. Boynton is the coach that was highly involved in both facets, the strategy and the recruiting, making him the more ready candidate to be a head coach. Boynton is also considered immensely popular with the players. You already have point guard Jawun Evans having declared for the NBA, and now on Friday, Jeffrey Carroll announced that he is going to test the waters with the NBA Draft and do so but not hire an agent allowing him to return fully to Oklahoma State.
"Oklahoma State is one of the premier basketball programs in the country," Boynton said in a release put out by Oklahoma State. "To have this opportunity given to me by coach Holder and the OSU administration is something I could have only dreamed of. I'm very thankful and grateful to the players here, to the guys that I have played and worked with throughout my life, and to the Oklahoma State family for welcoming me and my family over the last year."
An interesting observation, actually two observations, Cal hired an assistant coach to replace Cuonzo Martin, who went to Missouri. Assistants can make excellent coaches and it isn't like moves like this haven't happened before. Also, it was Frank Martin, who Boynton worked for at South Carolina, that was elevated to the head coach position at Kansas State when Bob Huggins left for West Virginia.
"At the end of the day, we view coaching from the same perspective," Holder said. "All of the qualities that I value resonate in him. He said one hing that really stuck with me, that coaching is about leadership and family, and I agree wholeheartedly. I know I'm proud to have him as the leader of our basketball program, and think once people get to know him, they'll feel the same way."
Earlier in the day on Friday, Oklahoma State standout guard Jeffrey Carroll announced that he was going to "test the NBA waters" and not hire an agent. All-Big 12 and All-American guard Jawun Evans had already declared for the NBA Draft, but is believed to not have hired an agent. Boynton's first job is to try to recruit that pair, recruit the team on the OSU campus, and recruit the prospects that have signed or committed to Oklahoma State.
"One of the strengths I've developed over my 13 years in the business is that I've always been able to relate to players, and that's been no different here," Boynton added on this very topic. "I have a fantastic relationship with our entire locker room, and I look forward to building those relationships in this new role."
At SFA before coming to Oklahoma State, Boynton helped the Lumberjacks win 28 games, including a first-round upset of No. 2 seed West Virginia in the NCAA Tournament. The magical season capped of a run of success at SFA that included three straight Southland Conference titles, a 53-1 record in league play, three SLC Player of the Year awards and three SLC Coach of the Year awards.
Boynton played a vital part in the Lumberjacks' success upon his arrival in 2013-14, which included a 32-3 overall record, 18-0 Southland Conference mark, SLC regular season and tournament titles, NCAA Tournament second round victory over fifth-seeded VCU and berth in the third round against fourth-seeded UCLA.
Boynton's second season with the Lumberjacks yielded similar results. SFA posted a 29-5 overall record and came within a win of sweeping conference play for the second-straight season. The squad advanced to the NCAA Tournament second round as a No. 12 seed for the second-consecutive season, where it faced off against fifth-seeded Utah.
Boynton came to SFA after spending four years as an assistant coach the University of South Carolina, including the 2012-13 season with Underwood.
"I am thrilled for the opportunity to join Brad at Oklahoma State," Boynton said last spring when making the move to Oklahoma State. "I have learned so much over the past three seasons working by his side. I look forward to bringing excitement and pride to the great alumni and fans of Oklahoma State University."
Boynton was a four-year letterwinner for the Gamecocks from 2001 to 2004 and served as the associate head coach for the Wofford Terriers prior to joining the South Carolina staff for the 2008-09 season.
While on staff in Columbia, Boynton helped lead the Gamecocks to three wins over national Top-Five opponents, including an upset of then-No. 1 Kentucky in 2009-10 and wins over then-No. 2 Michigan State and then-No. 2 Ohio State in 2010-11 while fielding one of the youngest teams in the country.
He also had a part in South Carolina landing one of its best recruiting classes in recent history in the summer of 2010, bringing in a class ranked No. 17 in the country according to Scout.com and No. 25 class according to ESPN.com.
In 2008-09 Boynton helped South Carolina earn double-digit SEC victories for the first time since the 1998 season and earned the SEC Eastern Division Co-Championship. The Gamecocks had previously reached double-digit victories just three times in their 20-year history competing in the SEC. Additionally, South Carolina's 21 wins that year marked its first 20-win season since the 2005-06 campaign.
Prior to South Carolina, Boynton spent a year as the associate head coach at Wofford where the Terriers finished the 2007-08 season 16-16 overall and 8-12 in Southern Conference play. The Terriers' 16 wins were the most since the 1994-95 season and the most since moving to the NCAA Division I level.
Boynton worked as an assistant at Coastal Carolina for two seasons prior to his stint at Wofford. In his two years at Coastal, the Chanticleers went 35-25 overall, including a 20-win season in 2005-06.
As a four-year player at South Carolina, Boynton played in 125 career games, which ranks fourth all-time. He also finished in the top 10 in career 3-pointers made and 3-pointers attempted. He ranks in the top 10 in single-season starts and minutes played and led the Gamecocks to the NCAA Tournament as a senior, starting 32 games and averaging 9.9 points and a team-high 3.5 assists per game.
Boynton graduated from South Carolina with a degree in African-American studies. He was also awarded the Southeastern Conference's Community Service Post-Graduate Scholarship for his community service work.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Boynton attended Bishop Loughlin High School, where he earned first-team All-New York City honors after leading his team to a 24-4 mark and a berth in the city semifinals. He was inducted into the Bishop Loughlin High School Athletic Hall of Fame in the spring of 2011.
Boynton is married to the former Jenny Hill, and the two have a son, Ace, and a daughter, Zoe.