What a difference a year makes. At this time last year, OSU basketball fans were...not happy (to say the least) following the hiring of Mike Boynton as head coach of the men’s team. After a season filled with suspense, along with a fair share of ups and downs, fans and students alike are singing the praises of Boynton.
I’ll be the first to admit that I was highly skeptical of the first year head coach, along with many Cowboy fans. The first of many obstacles for Boynton was proving to the fans that he deserved to be the head coach of our illustrious program. Not only did he prove to fans that he’s good enough to be our coach, he raised our expectations for next year, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
He also showed how much he cared about this program and drawing in the support it deserved.
Got it confirmed... Coach Boynton had the idea and paid for the shirts as they were shipped up from Dallas and they used multiple screen printers in Stillwater to get them all done. Coach Boynton paid for the shirts. DARN IMPRESSIVE!!!— Robert Allen (@RAllenGoPokes) March 21, 2018
There were also reports that it was Boynton himself that help pay for all students to get into the postseason NIT games for free. He knows what it takes to attract a crowd in a “rebuilding year” and has proven that he will go above and beyond any responsibilities he has as head coach.
The first thing that stuck out to me about coach Boynton was how engaging he is with his players. “Let’s Work” isn’t just a marketing gimmick he used for the team this year, it became the lifestyle of the team, and something Boynton instilled in them. This is a big reason why Boynton won’t be a one-hit wonder (looking at you, Travis Ford). So, the next question is, how can the Cowboys lock up Boynton long term?
Mike Holder set the program back by offering an average coach a long-term extension after one good season. When Travis Ford was run out of town, Holder went out and grabbed Brad Underwood - a move that did excite the fans. A day after the 2016-17 season ended, Underwood took his “Underwood 2016” slogan a little too literally and bounced for Champaign, Illinois. Did he leave because he thought he deserved a better salary? Maybe. Was it because Illinois is actually his dream job? I highly doubt it. Either way, Holder needs to get Boynton’s contract right.
Mike Holder surely doesn’t want to sign Boynton to a lengthy, expensive contract. He made that mistake with Travis Ford. But after the way Mike Boynton handled himself, the team and represented OSU these past several months....this man deserves a raise.
Boynton currently makes $1 million, with a $100,000 dollar raise every year, according to the Tulsa World. His contract is for five years and $6 million total.
Mike Holder should make that raise between $500,000 and $750,000 per season. If his raise is $500,000, he would be making $3 million in his fifth year. This season, Texas head coach Shaka Smart and Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger each made $3.1 million. Boynton went 3-2 against those coaches this season, with the least talented roster. Simply put, Mike Boynton gets more out of his players than coaches who each made $3.1 million this season do.
I don’t have faith that Mike Holder will give Boynton a raise, however, Boynton isn’t the same man Brad Underwood is. I believe Boynton will show more patience and loyalty with the man who gave him his first head coaching job. Stay tuned this offseason to see if Coach Boynton can #securethebag.