There will officially be a new sheriff holding court in Gallagher-Iba Arena as Oklahoma State University hosts a press conference Monday afternoon to introduce newly-appointed men’s basketball coach Mike Boynton.
Though the event will not be open to the public, it will provide the first opportunity for fans to really see and hear from the newest head coach in Stillwater.
Technically, Boynton is not new to the Cowboys, he’s just being promoted from assistant, and presumably getting a bigger office and a liberal dose of increased pressure to sustain the momentum created in the short tenure of Brad Underwood.
Boynton takes over as OSU’s 20th men’s basketball coach. His promotion is just part of a whirlwind start to the off season that saw Brad Underwood bolt for Illinois’ big bucks less than 24 hours after OSU’s exit from the NCAA Tournament.
Boynton inherits a squad that somewhat unexpectedly transformed itself from an 0-6 start to conference play into one of the hottest teams in the country toward the close of the season. The Cowboys just happened to draw a first-round match-up in the NCAA Tournament with Michigan, another hot team.
Boynton has plenty to work with, despite the expected departure of Jawun Evans and the possible loss of Jeffrey Carroll to this summer’s NBA draft, but it remains to be seen what his program will look like.
Whether this is a hire hoping to keep the current and coming talent in the stable or simply an opportunity to allow a promising yet inexperienced young coach a chance to make his mark on the Big XII and build a legacy in Stilwater, it was certainly not the route an overwhelming majority of the Cowboy faithful saw coming as a supposed nationwide search took only a matter of days to offer Boynton—an in-house candidate—the job.
Even though he’s worked with Underwood at a few of his coaching stops (South Carolina, Stephen F. Austin, OSU), Boynton will be different, which is something Cowboys fans should welcome to help get the sour taste left when Underwood unceremoniously left town.
But no one will really know what the days ahead look like until after Boynton’s introduction.
In some ways, the Cowboys have nothing to lose. The administration had to do something to keep the fans engaged without going all-in on an inexperienced but beloved alumnus or a retread experienced coach coming off his own struggles as the head of a program.
No one is hoping this hire works out more than athletic director Mike Holder, who has suffered through a mistake of a contract (Travis Ford) and a falling out with the anticipated reviver (Underwood) of the program’s glory days under Eddie Sutton.
We’ll all get our first real taste of what we can expect Monday afternoon. Boynton’s press conference is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. It will be streamed live at okstate.com.