Monday, March 27, 2017 was a day of firsts for me. It was the first time I spoke to a car dealership about purchasing a new Charger, it was the first time that I’ve been in the O-Club at Oklahoma State and it was the first time that I got to witness what new Head Basketball Coach, Mike Boynton, was all about.
And let me tell you what, I absolutely LOVED what I saw.
Sure, it wasn’t the most polished of press conferences, but it was raw and pure emotion. And there’s something that’s refreshing about it. It was completely different from the coaches that use the same script at each school.
You could tell he genuinely meant what he was saying. And there’s people out there that didn’t like the way he went about the introductory presser. That he should’ve written, practiced and stuck to script. And those are probably the same people that don’t like watching Jimmy Fallon do a live skit on SNL or The Tonight Show because he can’t contain his laughter.
Mike Boyton wasn’t putting on an act or some heartfelt façade. This was him. When he first started, he went through a list of people to give credit for him being in this position today. Dr. Hargis, Mr. Holder, the Board, the city of Brooklyn that helped raise him and the friends he grew up with. And that’s where he first got emotional. And I’m talking big, stream-down-your-face tears.
In fact, he went on to say that this was probably the first time that his wife has ever seen him cry because he’s not an emotional person. And you could tell that he meant the tears.
“This is about people.” Evans said, “Okay? And real relationships. Trust, respect, hard work. It’s all I know. That’s it. We (as he gestures to the team sitting in the front) succeed together with your help. We support one another, we push each other to our goals, we challenge each other to be better.”
This is coming from a man who last week, was just another assistant coach. A man, who’s players just last week, chose either him or the man he chose to be the associate coach, to be the be the next head coach.
"And thanks to Brad. He's part of the reason this is happening. But it's about these guys. Every one of them. They know I care about them and I love them." said Boynton, "They know that I'll push them as hard as I can to make them better. And they respect that about me. They let me coach them hard because they know I care. 10 at night, six in the morning, they can all call me. For anything. And really, that's how we got here. That's what this is about. This is not about X's and O's, what plays I know. I know people. It's about building mean. 18, 17 sometimes, to 23-24, and making a difference somehow positively in that time.".
This is the Cowboy Way. This is what you want to strive to live like day in and day out. This is your new head coach.
Robert Allen caught up with Davon Dillard today after the press conference and this is what he said, "Coach Holder called me and we had a sit down and I was honored he gave me that chance," Dillard said. "I threw some names at him and I said either Mike Boynton or Coach Lamont Evans would definitely do wonders for this program. Especially young coaches, people look at their age, but the fire and love they have for the players and I think we would get better and better each year.".
I mean come on! That’s coming from someone who’s going to be one of the top 3 players in the league (in my humble opinion) next year, and possible one of the top 10 players in the conference.
I understand that the fans wanted to have Doug Gottlieb as the next head coach. He’s an Oklahoma State guy through and through and he had said everything that fans could’ve ever hoped for. And I think that he would’ve made a fine coach. He’s a walking basketball encyclopedia. But, there’s a reason that the administration AND the team chose Mike Boynton. Passionate, caring, tenacious but not overbearing and a well-seasoned assistant coach.
Now, I’m not saying that he’s going to be the most successful coach in Oklahoma State history. In fact, to try and do so would be unfair to Boynton who has yet to go out and prove himself to the Cowboy faithful. But for members of that Cowboy faithful to write this next season off and get rid of their season tickets because they feel like their voice wasn’t heard when the Athletic Department hired Mike Boynton over Doug Gottlieb, is absolutely absurd. And seems like they’re wanting Boynton to fail just to prove a point.
And coaches care about whether or not there’s fans in the stands sure, but it’s the guys on that roster, the guys that have literally poured blood, sweat and tears for this program that you’re abandoning. The guys who have had sacrificed up to four years of their lives for this program. That’s who your sending your message to. Not the coaches or the administration. That’s who will fail, if Mike Boynton fails.
It’s time to rally behind the young coach from Brooklyn and those young guys who have poured their blood, sweat and tears out for this program. Time to prove to the rest of the league that basketball didn’t leave town when the former head coach did. It’s time to get back to the winning ways of Cowboy basketball.