Who is this guy? Who is Mike Boynton? Why did he get the job? Those questions and more are running rampant in Cowboy country. Heck, the athletic department had to do a video Q and A and put it on-line so people could see who the new head coach is.
With the media centered on Doug Gottlieb and for good reason, Gottlieb was well known and easily reached the last several days, there was little said about the three assistants and James Dickey also being interviewed. I can tell you absolutely that there were outside candidates contacted and asked about their interest. I've been told that the interest was not extremely high. The departure of Brad Underwood did not leave scorched earth in Payne County, but it did leave scorched opinions, a lot of those in the college coaching community. This is going to hurt the feelings of a lot of Oklahoma State fans, but right now Stillwater, Oklahoma State, and hallowed Gallagher-Iba Arena are not high on the list of places to coach for head coaches at the major and mid-major Division I level.
I'm not saying there weren't any coaches willing to sit down and talk about the vacancy in the program that Henry Iba built and Eddie Sutton resurrected, but the pool wasn't as strong as you would like it to be. A one-year coach that departs and makes it clear he was looking for an athletic director that he could see eye-to-eye with better doesn't help stir up quality candidates.
The panel interviewing candidates on Thursday; which our sources said included at least three members of the Board of Regents, Oklahoma State President Burns Hargis, and athletic director Mike Holder, with senior associate athletic director Kevin Klintworth there as a resource; spent three hours with Doug Gottlieb knowing he was a favorite of many fans and would bring pizazz. They also interviewed former assistant coach and head coach at Texas Tech and Houston in James Dickey. They they interviewed all three of Underwood's full-time assistants.
I was told about 30 minutes before he was hired, by another member of the media that was told by a person involved in the process, that Boynton hit it out of the park with his interview. He came across very polished and ready to be a head coach. While Lamont Evans has the reputation, a really good one of being a monster recruiter and Danny Henderson has the profile of being a standout strategist, Boynton has the image of being more broadbased, involved in all. I'm not sure that is fair on any of the three. Under Underwood assistants recruit and coach but don't get heard much by the media. Brad Underwood is the face and the voice of his program, as it should be.
When sizing up a coach that I really don't know much about (I first me Boynton at The End Zone and spoke to him several times) I look at who they coached for and who coached them. You obviously have Underwood for the past four years at both SFA and at OSU this year. Prior to that he was at South Carolina under first, Darrin Horn and then current head coach Frank Martin. He played at South Carolina and was recruited by and played one year for Eddie Fogler, yes, the Eddie Fogler hired to be a consultant on this process. He then played for Dave Odom.
Fogler, Odom, Martin, and Underwood can really coach. Horn, I know little about, but he went 21-10 one season at South Carolina. I will say that Boynton's pedigree is not bad, and I'll bet he played for a really good coach in high school. Basketball is king back East. He was inducted into the Bishop Loughlin High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
I understand all the negative out there. I get it. I also get this, for reasons that you as Cowboy fans are not responsible for, this basketball program has slipped. It is not the Iba/Sutton program right now. It can be. It won't be if you turn your back on it and don't give Mike Boynton a chance or some help.
My final say on this is based, right now, on this. The players in this program, you know the ones that worked their butts off and practiced like crazy for a coach that pushed extremely hard only to see him say good bye to them in three minutes, support Boynton. I'd say based on that, you could support him to and see where it leads. It seems somewhere I've read about "The Cowboy Way" I always thought it was about helping and supporting. Mike Boynton is excited. He gets his first head coaching opportunity for one heckuva program. With a little help, this guy that knocked it out of the park in his interview just might become a college coaching sensation. He won't do it without The Cowboy Way.