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Mike Boynton on Oklahoma State: ‘I Believe This is an Elite Basketball Program’



We had Mike Boynton on our podcast last week, and he was predictably awesome. We talked recruiting, social media, farming (of course) and what’s in store for him in the future. Boynton has clearly adopted Stillwater as his home, and Stillwater has reciprocated the love.

And unlike his predecessor, Boynton just signed a new contract to prove he means what he says when he waxes poetic about living in that town and coaching at Oklahoma State.

That’s why when he says things like he said on our podcast, it’s easy to believe him and exciting to look into the future. He even insinuated that Oklahoma State people don’t hold their hoops program in high enough regard.

“I really love it here,” said Boynton. “… I’m not this guy who was a great player went on to the NBA or played for this legendary coach or has a famous last name. I’ve been truly blessed just to be around really good people.

“(I’ve) had to work really hard everywhere I go, and have a great appreciation for stability. I don’t really like change that much. As long as my wife and my children are happy and comfortable here and we’re wanted … where do you leave Oklahoma State to go? I believe this is an elite job. I believe this is an elite basketball program.”

Is that Joe Flacco’s music?

“We have an opportunity to get it back to where everybody else can understand that again,” he added. “We’re not there yet. I think sometimes the people here don’t understand the level of respectability this program has nationwide. We go a lot of different places.”

This part fascinated me. We get so deep into Oklahoma State world that I think it’s sometimes difficult for us to see outside of it. We don’t know how the orange and black is perceived in Raleigh or Jacksonville or Minneapolis.

“You’ll see when this final class is put together. People say, ‘you got to recruit in Texas,’ and yes we do. There’s a lot of good players there. And, ‘you got to recruit in Oklahoma,’ yeah there’s some good players in this state.

“We can go to New York City, and I say I’m from Oklahoma State, people know what it’s about. I can go out to Oakland and recruit a kid in Kendall Smith who has a really good year for us, and he was gung-ho about wanting to play in the Big 12 and having an opportunity to go to Lawrence and beat Kansas.

“So we can go and touch people in a lot of different places and have a great sense of respectability. I say all that to say I want to be here. I don’t envision coaching anywhere else. I was fortunate because this is the first job I’ve ever had, but man I don’t like change. We’re happy. We’re comfortable. We work for great people.

“Coach Holder has been unbelievable. He was the champion of this thing. He was the visionary behind all this.”

I don’t envision coaching anywhere else.

Whoooo baby. That’s the good stuff. Now look, I know these things can change. This is not a business in which many people stick around for 20 (or even 10) years. Coaches move on or get fired or take bigger jobs. There are a number of different things that can happen that result in a new head man. We have to be realistic about the industry as a whole, even if it’s easy to get caught up in the Boynton wave.

But I also think Boynton is intent on building a program and winning championships. At the very least, he’s pumping up a program whose validity and cachet some of us have even questioned in recent years. And now he’s taking that brand around the country to see if and where it will resonate. The report back so far sounds (and looks) pretty good.