STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Mike Boynton knows he has a rare opportunity for a young man, yet he feels his age doesn’t matter.
Oklahoma State’s new men’s basketball coach was promoted from an assistant position last week after Brad Underwood left for Illinois.
At age 35, he feels ready and believes it was a matter of time before he’d get a chance to run a program.
“I don’t think about my age when it comes to this thing,” he said Monday at his introductory news conference.
“I’ve worked really hard, and that’s all I really think about on a daily basis. Every day I wake up, I think, ‘Am I going to give everything I have, in every way I possibly can,’ and my message to our guys is to do the same thing.”
What shocked Boynton wasn’t the opportunity, it was the level of the school. Now that he’s inherited a Big 12 program that regularly reaches the NCAA Tournament, he’s thinking big right away.
“I want to be playing this weekend,” he said, noting the Final Four is coming up. “I want to be great. I want to be nationally relevant again, because we can. We have. And we can again. And we will again.”
Underwood left Oklahoma State after just one year, a season that had given Oklahoma State fans hope again.
The Cowboys lost their first six Big 12 games this season before rallying down the stretch to finish 9-9 in league play.
Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder thanked Underwood for his contribution to the program, which includes bringing Boynton in as an assistant.
“He did a lot of positive things,” Holder said of Underwood. “He ignited the passion of our fan base, coming back in the arena. I saw a transformation in a lot of our players, which a…