Tad Boyle

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Tad Boyle
Current position
TitleHead coach
Biographical details
Born (1963-01-06) January 6, 1963 (age 56)
Greeley, Colorado
Playing career
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1988–1989Greeley West HS (sophomores)
1989–1991Loveland HS (assistant)
1991–1994Longmont HS
1994–1997Oregon (assistant)
1997–1998Tennessee (assistant)
1998–2000Jacksonville State (assistant)
2000–2006Wichita State (assistant)
2006–2010Northern Colorado
Head coaching record
Overall245–190 (college)
Tournaments1–4 (NCAA Division I)
5–3 (NIT)
1–1 (CIT)
1–1 (CBI)
11–6 (Pac-12 Tournament)
2–1 (Big 12 Tournament)
Accomplishments and honors
Pac-12 Tournament (2012)

Thomas Martin "Tad" Boyle (born January 6, 1963) is an American college basketball coach and the current head men's basketball coach at the University of Colorado. He was named the 18th coach in University of Colorado men's basketball history on April 19, 2010[1] replacing Jeff Bzdelik. Boyle was named as an assistant coach for USA Basketball a second time in 2015[2] He played collegiately at Kansas under coach Ted Owens and Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown.

While playing for the Jayhawks, Boyle played on two NCAA Tournament teams in 1984 and 1985.[3] He served as team captain his senior year, which was 1988 NBA Draft choice Danny Manning's freshman season and University of Maryland coach Mark Turgeon's sophomore season.[1]

Before heading to play collegiately at Kansas, Boyle was a standout performer at Greeley Central High School, where he led the Wildcats to a state championship as a senior in 1981 and earned Colorado Player of the Year honors, as well as being selected to the Converse All-American team. His high school jersey was retired at the conclusion of his senior season.[4]

Playing career[edit]

Boyle played collegiately for legendary coach Larry Brown at Kansas (1981–85). He was a member of two NCAA Tournament teams (1984, 1985) and was part of the 1984 Big Eight Tournament championship squad. As a senior, Boyle captained the Jayhawks, which featured freshman Danny Manning, who three years later led the Jayhawks to the NCAA Championship.

Coaching career[edit]

Early days[edit]

After earning a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Kansas in 1985, he became a commodities broker in Kansas City.[5] In 1986 he returned to Colorado and has continued his career as a Commodities Broker where Boyle also got back into basketball and went on to serve for six years as a high school basketball coach at various Colorado programs. He was the sophomore basketball coach at Greeley (Colo.) West for a year and then was an assistant coach at Loveland (Colo.) High School for two years. From there, he served at Longmont (Colo.) High School for three years.

A car accident in 1994 changed Boyle's career forever. Boyle was heading to work one morning when somebody ran a red light and plowed into his vehicle at the intersection of McCaslin Boulevard and South Boulder Road in Louisville Colorado. The collision crushed the front of Boyle's car. He was knocked unconscious, but the air bag likely saved his life. At that point, Boyle was earning six figures as a stockbroker and considered his "other" job, as head coach at Longmont High, to be little more than a hobby. Later that year, Boyle received a phone call from his former University of Kansas teammate, Mark Turgeon, the current Maryland coach, then an assistant at Oregon. Turgeon stated that there was an opening on Oregon's staff, but it was a restricted earnings position that earned $16,000 a year. Boyle, not married at the time, decided to take the plunge into a full-time coaching gig.[6]


Boyle coached alongside Turgeon, his former teammate at Kansas, at Oregon under Jerry Green. Beginning in 1994, he spent three seasons in Eugene, helping the Ducks to the 1995 NCAA Tournament and the 1997 National Invitational Tournament.


In 1997, Boyle followed Green to Tennessee, where he was director of basketball operations when the Vols won 20 games and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

Jacksonville State[edit]

Boyle reconnected with Turgeon the following year, this time as an assistant coach at Jacksonville State (Ala.), where they helped turn a team that was 8-18 into a 17-11 squad in just one season.

Wichita State[edit]

Boyle spent six seasons as an assistant coach at Wichita State and was part of another turn around that saw the Shockers improve from 9-19 (.321) his first year there to one of the nation's top mid-major teams in 2006 when Wichita State went 26-9 and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The Shockers eventually lost to Final Four Cinderella George Mason in the regional semifinals, but not before they had secured the No. 21 ranking in the final collegiate polls.

Northern Colorado[edit]

A Greeley, Colo., native, Boyle was named the 17th coach in UNC history on April 25, 2006. At that point, the Bears were in the midst of a transition to Division I in its first season as a member of the Big Sky Conference. Northern Colorado finished 4-24 in his first season when squad finished last nationally in the final RPI rankings for that season. There were, however, flashes of times to come that season, including close losses to both Colorado (88-86) and Colorado State (75-66).

Over the next two seasons at UNC, he improved the team's win total from four to 13 and then 14. The Bears defeated Colorado State, 72-59, in his second season and also knocked off San Diego State, 72-59. The Aztecs were ranked among the nation's top 50 teams in the RPI rankings at that time. In year three, the Bears had improved from one conference win his first season to an even 8-8 mark and earned the school's first Division I post season trip, to the Big Sky Conference Tournament.

It all came together for Boyle in his fourth season in Greeley, as the Bears advanced to the post season for the first time in school history, advancing to the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsiders.com Tournament while racking up a school record 25 victories. He coached one first-team All-Big Sky member and also the Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

Prior to his arrival to Boulder, he guided the Bears to a 56–66 record (.459) in four seasons, including a breakout season in 2009-10, when the Bears were 25-8 (.758) and finished second in the Big Sky Conference. For his efforts, he was awarded the NABC Division I All-District Coach of the Year, the Big Sky Coach of the Year by both The Sporting News and CollegeInsider.com, where he was also named a finalist for the National Mid-Major Coach of the Year award.[7]


"This is it (my dream job), there’s no doubt," Boyle said after being named head coach on April 19, 2010. "I remember talking with (Maryland men's head coach) Mark Turgeon once when he asked me where I wanted to be in 10 years, and I said the head coach at the University of Colorado. This is a destination job. I'm humbled and honored."

In his first season (2010-11), Boyle began to set the standard for exciting things to come, capping the season with a trip to the World's Most Famous Arena - Madison Square Garden and a National Invitation Tournament semifinal appearance. The Buffaloes won a school-record 24 games, including 18 school-best wins at the CU Events Center, establishing one of the best home court advantages in all of college basketball. His initial season saw CU rank fifth nationally in free throw percentage (77.8), 12th in scoring (79.6 ppg) and 19th in field goal percentage (47.3). Boyle earned National Coach of the Week honors (Hoops Report, Jan. 10–16) after leading the Buffs to a 3-0 conference start, including wins over No. 9/8 Missouri and No. 21/20 Kansas State. The win over the Wildcats gave CU its first road win over a nationally ranked opponent since January 1997 (No. 20 Texas Tech). CU defeated four ranked teams, including a 22-point comeback win (second greatest comeback in school history) upsetting No. 5/5 Texas, 91-89.

In year two (2011-12), Boyle became the first CU coach to begin the conference season with back-to-back 3-0 starts, and was the first coach since Frosty Cox (1935-36, 1936-37) to win his conference opener in back-to-back years. He also won his 40th game (home win vs. Oregon) in just 61 games tying Cox (1935-39). Boyle continued to make most of his “dream job” a reality for CU fans guiding the Buffaloes to the 2011-12 NCAA Tournament (third round), another 24-win season, and a conference championship in its inaugural season of the Pac-12, winning four games in four days at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. For his efforts, Boyle became the first CU head coach to earn the District 20 Coach of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), an award voted among his coaching peers. The 48 wins were a school-best in any two-year span of the program. “I’m a believer in Tad Boyle,” said Jay Bilas, ESPN College Basketball Analyst. “He is not only a terrific teacher of the game with great basketball knowledge, he keeps it simple and gives his players an understanding of what you need to do to win, but a firm understanding of how teams lose, too. Boyle has tremendous toughness in him. He is demanding without being demeaning, and he puts his players in position to achieve together without fear of failing. That’s what truly outstanding coaches do, and Tad Boyle is a truly outstanding coach.”

In year three (2012-13), Boyle guided the Buffs to another NCAA Tournament appearance, the second year in-a-row, becoming the first CU coach in 50 years to guide the program to back-to-back tournament appearances. CU won 21 games, the third straight season the program eclipsed the 20-win plateau, also a school-first. After the team won their first mid-season tournament since the 2002-03 season, the Charleston Classic, the Buffs reached the nation's Top-25 polls for the first time since 2005-06 (No. 19 AP/USA Today Coaches’ Poll, Nov. 26); AP No. 23 ranked, Nov. 19). Attendance records also set a brand new high standard as the men's basketball team proved to be the best ticket in town setting a number of school records, including seven sellouts; 12 of 15 home games exceeded 10,000 fans or better, in addition to season total (155,884); season average (10,392); conference total (94,371); and conference average (10,486). The attendance surge ranked third nationally among all Division I programs for largest increased average from the previous year.

Success continued for Boyle and his coaching staff in year four (2013-14) as the Buffs won 23 games, the third most victories in school history. Another NCAA Tournament followed for a school record third consecutive season, in addition setting a pair of attendance records (season total: 173,429; non-conference total: 84,133). The staff enjoyed their best start to a season in four years (14-2 record) with a No. 15 nationally ranking, the highest a CU team has seen since 1997.

In 2014-15, a 16-18 record marked the first time in five years the program failed to notch a winning season, however the Buffaloes reached the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) quarterfinals. The Buffs did defeat NCAA Sweet 16 participant UCLA and the National Invitation Tournament Champion Stanford during the season. Attendance remained steady for the fifth straight year, finishing with third place numbers across the board in all-time marks in season total, season average, and conference total. Conference average was fourth. Overall, Boyle and his CU teams, hold the top five attendance marks in season and conference total, and conference average since 2010-11; and the four of the top five attendance figures in season average.

The Buffaloes rebounded nicely in 2015-16, sporting a record of 22-12 and finishing in fifth place in the Pac-12 at 10-8. Boyle led Colorado to 11 straight wins during the nonconference schedule, the fifth longest in program history and best run since 1961-62. Colorado's 21 regular season wins tied a school record – joining the 2013-14 and 1996-97 teams – and 22 overall tied for fourth in the school annals. Colorado reached the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time under Boyle.

Boyle's 2016-17 team marked seven-straight years with a postseason tournament appearance; a school record. The Buffaloes were 19-15 overall and 8-10 in the Pac-12, earning a spot in the NIT. Colorado's regular season was highlighted by wins over three ranked teams, including No. 13/14 Xavier and No. 10/10 Oregon, teams that would eventually end up in the Elite Eight and Final Four respectively.

In 2017-18, Boyle had the youngest team of his tenure, with nine players that had not played a minute in a Buffaloes' uniform prior to the season. He led Colorado to 17 wins, the program's seventh winning season in the last eight years. Last year's young group had some bright moments including back-to-back wins over Top 15 teams for the first time in program history.

Boyle, 55, is entering his ninth year with the Buffaloes and his 166 victories rank third all-time in program history. He owns five of Colorado's nine all-time seasons of 20-plus wins. Boyle is the first CU coach to lead the Buffaloes to seven consecutive postseason appearances and the first to guide the program to three consecutive NCAA Tournaments. His record at the CU Events Center is stellar, leading the Buffaloes to a 113-22 mark at home (.837) over the last eight seasons. He is the first CU coach to win 20 games in each of his first four years. “Tad continues to make Colorado more than relevant,” NCAA.com Basketball Writer Andy Katz said. “He has made them into one of the top teams in the West. Now you can count on Colorado being in play for the top tier in the Pac-12 and an NCAA bid. Colorado may have joined the Pac-12 for football first but the Buffaloes have been a boon in basketball." Boyle has led Colorado to 17 wins over ranked opponents, by far the best in team history. In fact Boyle coached teams, with a record of 17-32, have accounted for 28 percent of the program's wins over ranked opponents (61) since 1949-50. Boyle's postseason success is highlighted by a memorable run of four wins in four days to claim the 2012 Pac-12 Tournament championship. He owns more than half of Colorado's all-time conference tournament wins, with a 13-7 mark in that span (11-6 in the Pac-12, 2-1 in the Big 12). Boyle has led the Buffaloes to a conference semifinal or better three times. He is a perfect 8-0 as Colorado's head coach in the first round of a conference tournament. Overall Boyle's 18 postseason wins and .563 winning percentage (18-14) are tops in Colorado history.

Recruiting and Player Development[edit]

Going into the 2012 off-season Tad has recruited a top 25 class for the first time in CU history. The class included 2 Top-100 recruits in Mater Dei H.S. (Temecula, CA) forward Xavier Johnson [8] and Lewis-Palmer H.S. (Monument, CO) forward Josh Scott (basketball).[9] During Boyle's time with the Buffaloes he has also recruited and coached 5 NBA Draft picks including Alec Burks, Andre Roberson, Spencer Dinwiddie, Derrick White, and George King.

Other notable players Boyle has coached who have pursued careers overseas include Askia Booker, Austin Dufault, Carlon Brown, Marcus Relphorde, Cory Higgins, Thomas Akyazili, Levi Knutson, Wesley Gordon, Josh Fortune, Lazar Nikolic, Xavier Talton, Dominique Collier, and Nate Tomlinson.

Other jobs[edit]

After his first year at CU, Boyle received interest for the head coaching position at Texas A&M vacated by his old friend Mark Turgeon, after Mark left to be the head coach at Maryland. Tad rebuffed this interest and stayed at his "dream job" at CU.[10]

Following his second season at CU, Boyle continued to draw interest from other programs and his name was linked with the Nebraska and Kansas State openings, although he once again denied interest in both jobs stating "I want to do something special here at Colorado. I don’t have any interest in other jobs. I would love it if CU were my last job."[11]

Fan following[edit]

Under Boyle's leadership, there have been several sell-outs for CU games at Coors Event Center and increased season ticket sales. Several thousand fans also made the trip to Albuquerque for CU-UNLV and CU-Baylor NCAA tournament games. Colorado Athletic Director Mike Bohn responded to increased student interest by flying 50 students, all-expenses paid to Los Angeles for the Pac-12 tournament and taking 100 students to the NCAA tournament games in Albuquerque.[12] After the success of the C-Unit OG 50, Colorado Athletic Director Mike Bohn repeated the trip the following year by taking another group of 50 students on an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas for the 2013 Pac-12 tournament. However, the Buffaloes were unable to repeat as champions as they lost in the second round to the eventual runner-up Arizona Wildcats.

Personal life[edit]

Boyle is married to the former Ann Schell of Greeley, and they have two sons, Jack and Pete, and a daughter, Claire.[13]

Coaching tree[edit]

Three assistant coaches under Tad Boyle have gone on to hold head coaching positions:

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Northern Colorado Bears (Big Sky Conference) (2006–2010)
2006–07 Northern Colorado 4–24 2–14 9th
2007–08 Northern Colorado 13–16 6–10 T–7th
2008–09 Northern Colorado 14–18 8–8 5th
2009–10 Northern Colorado 25–8 12–4 2nd CIT Quarterfinal
Northern Colorado: 56–66 (.459) 28–36 (.438)
Colorado Buffaloes (Big 12 Conference) (2010–2011)
2010–11 Colorado 24–14 8–8 T–5th NIT Semifinal
Colorado Buffaloes (Pac-12 Conference) (2011–present)
2011–12 Colorado 24–12 11–7 T–5th NCAA Division I Round of 32
2012–13 Colorado 21–12 10–8 5th NCAA Division I Round of 64
2013–14 Colorado 23–12 10–8 T–3rd NCAA Division I Round of 64
2014–15 Colorado 16–18 7–11 T–8th CBI Quarterfinal
2015–16 Colorado 22–12 10–8 5th NCAA Division I Round of 64
2016–17 Colorado 19–15 8–10 7th NIT First Round
2017–18 Colorado 17–15 8–10 T–8th
2018–19 Colorado 23–13 10–8 5th NIT Quarterfinal
2019–20 Colorado 7–1 0–0
Colorado: 196–124 (.613) 82–78 (.513)
Total: 251–190 (.569)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. ^ a b Colorado Buffaloes hire Tad Boyle as coach - ESPN
  2. ^ http://northdenvernews.com/buffs-tad-boyle-named-to-usa-basketball-coaching-crew/
  3. ^ Bedore, Gary (February 19, 2011). "Coaches Bill Self, Tad Boyle to collide again Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse". Lawrence Journal-World. Retrieved February 19, 2011. Boyle — he started 34 games his first two seasons at KU, then came off the bench his final two seasons — played on two NCAA Tournament teams (1984, ’85) and was part of the 1984 Big Eight postseason tourney championship squad. He served as team captain his senior year, which was Danny Manning’s freshman season.
  4. ^ Tad Boyle CUBUFFS.com BIO - "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 3, 2013. Retrieved September 4, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Woodling, Chuck. "Armed with degree, Boyle to tackle commodities business" Lawrence Journal-World, March 13, 1985.
  6. ^ Car accident changed Buffs basketball coach Tad Boyle's destiny Read more: Car accident changed Buffs basketball coach Tad Boyle's destiny - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/cu/ci_14953701
  7. ^ Tad Boyle CUBUFFS.com BIO "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 29, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Xavier Johnson ESPN Recruiting Page http://espn.go.com/college-sports/basketball/recruiting/player/_/id/70482/xavier-johnson
  9. ^ Josh Scott ESPN Recruiting Page http://espn.go.com/college-sports/basketball/recruiting/player/_/id/130252/josh-scott
  10. ^ CU Buffs' Tad Boyle not leaving for Texas A&M http://www.dailycamera.com/cu-college-sports/ci_18049230
  11. ^ C-U NEXT YEAR http://www.milehighsports.com/?p=9331
  12. ^ Trips for loyal CU Buffs fans cost $67,200 in private donations http://www.dailycamera.com/cu-news/ci_20210327/trips-loyal-cu-buffs-fans-cost-67-200
  13. ^ CUBUFFS.com Bio "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 29, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]