It was a long yet hardly unusual coaching journey that led Tad Boyle to the University of Colorado a dozen years ago.
A similar route has led to a monumental opportunity for Boyle with USA Basketball.
Last week, USA Basketball named Boyle the head coach for the U.S. U18 national team for the upcoming FIBA U18 Americas Men’s Championship. Like his nomadic 15-year run as an assistant before landing his first Division I head coach job, Boyle previously served for USA Basketball national teams as a training camp court coach (2013 World University Games) and an assistant under John Calipari (2017 U19 World Cup).
After climbing that ladder, Boyle now will have a rare and coveted opportunity to lead a U.S. national team.
“When that offer is made and that call comes, it’s really difficult to say no,” Boyle said. “It’s a great, great honor. When you’re asked to do something like this and represent your country, to me it’s more than just basketball. You’re going to go play in a basketball tournament, but when you have USA across your chest, to me it means a little bit more.”
On Tuesday, USA Basketball announced the Americas Championship will be held June 6-12 in Tijuana, Mexico. The tryout and training camp will be held May 26-June 2 in Houston.
USA Basketball also announced the 27 players who will make up the pool of candidates for the 12 roster spots. The list includes one 2021 freshman (Providence’s Corey Floyd, formerly of UConn), 11 players in the incoming 2022 freshman class, 14 from the 2023 class, and one from the 2024 class.
Among that group, Boyle will get a sneak peak at several incoming foes within the Pac-12 Conference, including Amari Bailey (UCLA, No. 6 in Class of 2022 by 247Sports), Kel’el Ware (Oregon, No. 9), Dior Johnson (Oregon, No. 30), Kanaan Carlyle (Stanford commit, No. 16 in Class of 2023).
Seven of the 2023 prospects not involved in non-NCAA tracks like Overtime Elite remain uncommitted.
Serving as court coaches during the training camp will be Arizona’s Tommy Lloyd, winner of the Pac-12 and AP national coach of the year awards, Colgate coach Matt Langel, and SMU’s Rob Lanier. Working with Boyle in Mexico as assistants will be Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton Jr. and Boise State coach Leon Rice.
With Rice, Boyle will rekindle a relationship that dates back to Boyle’s days as the head coach at Longmont High in the early 1990s. At one point Rice, then an assistant at Northern Colorado, was recruiting one of Boyle’s players.
Boyle will be gone in early June, when the Buffs typically reconvene on campus, but is more than confident in leaving the Buffs in the hands of a veteran staff.
“One of the things that allows me to do these kinds of things is the fact that we have such a great staff,” Boyle said. “I can be gone for two and a half weeks and feel like we’re still getting things done. June is a time when we usually have next year’s team on campus lifting, playing pick-up. They’ll certainly still be doing that, I’ll just miss the first couple weeks of that.”