The Wolverine

October 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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70 THE WOLVERINE OCTOBER 2016   WHERE ARE THEY NOW? was a distraction in the early part of the tournament. Boyd always felt differently. "To be honest, it was a blessing. After each game, the media, all they talked about was Frieder," he said. "We were getting ready to play North Carolina, but that was all they wanted to talk about. It kind of took our kids' minds off the fact that Carolina had knocked us off the last time we were there." That helped them all the way through to the semifinals against Illi- nois. Then another instinct took over. "The NCAA made a big mistake in Seattle [for the Final Four]. There was a big mall there and they put us in the same area … we could see each other every day we were down there," Boyd recalled. "Those Illinois guys barked all day, talking trash about how they'd just destroyed us at our place. Our guys … talk about being focused. "I remember going to [forward] Loy Vaught, telling him he needed to get double figures in rebounding by halftime. He did … but I told him he didn't. Then he just went crazy [on the glass]." As did Rice, the tournament MVP, and the rest of the Wolverines on the way to capturing the school's first NCAA championship with wins over Illinois and Seton Hall. When it all died down, Frieder flew Boyd down to try to get the assis- tant to join him at Arizona State. The Boyds even put money down on a house. Boyd, though, had doubts, and he visited then-AD Bo Schembechler before making his final decision. "Bo said, 'You need to get the recruit- ing title off the front of your name. You go out there and it will be four or five years before you get a head coaching job,'" Boyd recalled. "He said, 'Stay here. Steve wants you; we want you … ride the national championship out.'" A year later — Sept. 19, 1990 — Boyd got his first head coaching job at Cleveland State. "Bo said, 'Let me make the last call,'" Boyd recalled. "He made the last call and that got me the job." Boyd built CSU into a league cham- pion in only three years, the 1992-93 team finishing 22-6 overall and 15-1 for first in the Mid-Continent Con- ference. They were snubbed for the postseason after losing in their con- ference tournament. Bad luck and tragedy eventu- ally ended his tenure at the school when elite junior Jamal Jackson was stabbed to death in the offseason and another top recruit, James Madison, broke his leg in the preseason. "At that level, you've got to rely heavily on high school and AAU coaches," Boyd said. "You don't have the name, the block 'M' on your shirt walking into a gym. Relationships — that's how you would get kids, but losing one player could mean a bad season." Boyd landed on his feet, first as an assistant to Jerry Dunn (a future Michigan assistant) at Penn State from 1996-2002. The team made the post- season three times and beat No. 2 seed North Carolina in the 2001 NCAA Tournament. He then became an as- sistant at East Tennessee State from 2002-13, helping lead the program to three NCAA Tournament berths. He still lives in Tennessee with his wife, Michelle, and teaches a class on campus. Some of his best years were at Michi- gan, however, and he still wears his NCAA championship ring to prove it. "You could recruit every day, and I didn't just like it — I loved it," he said. His efforts were huge in helping make Michigan a champion. ❏ Michigan Accomplishments: Assistant basketball coach from 1978‑90 … Was instrumental in helping build Michigan's 1989 NCAA championship team and as‑ sisted head coach Bill Frieder with back‑to‑back Big Ten championship squads in 1985 and 1986, following an NIT title in 1984 … Michigan went 237‑108 during Boyd's 11 years in Ann Arbor … Recruited and coached NBA standouts such as Glen Rice, Rumeal Robinson, Loy Vaught, Roy Tarpley, Gary Grant, Tim McCormick and Terry Mills. Michigan Memory: The Wolverines were battling Minnesota, Michigan State, DePaul, Iowa State and others for blue‑chip sensation Glen Rice out of Flint in 1985, and several coaches traveled to his school on signing day to try to get his signature. "We found out Glen was at home," Boyd said. "We had the papers, and we drove around the block to make sure none of the other coaches were watching the house. On the second swing, [head coach] Bill Frieder says, 'Drive by and drop me off.'" Boyd continued to drive around the block. On the fourth or fifth lap, Frieder ran out of the house and flagged him down. "He gives me the papers … the papers are signed, and I put them inside my suit coat," Boyd continued. "We're driving away, go around the corner, and there's a party store there. Outside are assistants from Minnesota, Iowa State and DePaul. We pull up, and Bill is trying to keep from laughing. They come to the car window looking in. The papers Glen had just signed were sticking out of my coat pocket. "Frieder started saying, 'Yeah, I think there are some coaches over at the house now, or they might still be at the school.' I'm sitting there trying to keep from laugh‑ ing while Bill, with a straight face, is trying to have that conversation with the other assistants trying to keep from laughing, knowing we had already signed the kid. "Finally, Bill said, 'We've got to get going,' and boom — we were off." Current Occupation: Retired. Boyd still teaches a popular coaching class at East Tennessee State, his last coaching stop. Education: Boyd, a 1970 graduate of Northern Michigan University, led his conference in scoring under coach Stan Albeck and was inducted into the NMU Hall of Fame in 1980. Family: Boyd and his wife, Michelle, have six children: Toni, Stephanie, Mi‑ chael Jr., Mark, Matt and Greg. The Mike Boyd File Michigan went 237‑108 during Boyd's 11 years with the Wolverines, thanks to several future NBA standouts he helped recruit and coach. PHOTO COURTESY MIKE BOYD

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