JEFF BOALS – OHIO UNIVERSITY MEN’S BASKETBALL HEAD COACH – EPISODE 476

Jeff Boals

Website – https://www.ohiobobcats.com/sports/mbkb/index

Email – boals@ohio.edu

Twitter – @JeffBoals

Jeff Boals just completed his second season as the Head Coach of the Ohio University Bobcats,

Prior to OU Boals spent the previous three seasons as the head coach at Stony Brook where he guided the Seawolves to an overall record of 55-41 – including a 31-17 mark in America East Conference play.

A member of Thad Matta’s coaching staff from 2009-16, Boals helped guide Ohio State to seven postseason appearances, including six NCAA Tournaments. Prior to Ohio State, Boals spent three seasons at Akron, serving as the team’s recruiting coordinator and working with the post players. He spent two seasons (2004-06) at Robert Morris and four years (1999-2003) at Marshall. He also spent a total of four seasons at Division II University of Charleston in two different stints.

Jeff is a 1995 graduate of Ohio. He served as a two-time team captain and garnered four varsity letters under the leadership of his head coach, the late Larry Hunter.

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Take some notes as you listen to this episode with Jeff Boals, Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Ohio University.

What We Discuss with Jeff Boals

  • Tearing his ACL in the Ohio North-South All-Star Game
  • Finding his role as a player at Ohio University after having been a star player in high school
  • Figuring out what he needed to do in order to get on court
  • Learning from his college Head Coach, the late Larry Hunter
  • Getting his first job as the restricted earnings coach at Ohio U after he graduated
  • Learning to do it all as a coach at D2 Charleston
  • Developing respect and appreciation for every person that impacts a program
  • His relationship with Thad Matta and valuing him as a mentor
  • What he learned from each of the head coaches he worked for including Larry Hunter, Jason Gee, Greg White, Mark Schmidt, Keith Dambrot, and Thad Matta
  • Ways he helps his assistants to develop and improve
  • The amount of decisions that you have to make as a head coach
  • Being transparent and getting everyone on the same page helps build a positive culture
  • Managing egos and external influences
  • “I can do more. I can do this well, that’s great, but that’s not what the team needs.”
  • How he talks with players about their role on the team
  • Recruits must be the type of player that will fit with the head coach
  • What he looks for when watching a player play in AAU vs in high school
  • Why he wants players whose ambition is to be a pro after college
  • No wheelbarrow guys
  • Getting to know a recruit’s inner circle
  • Tips for practice planning to maximize efficiency and competition
  • Managing the workload for players and coaches during a calendar year
  • How he utilizes film with his players at OU
  • “The more competition, the better, I think it’s going to elevate your program and elevate the individual.”
  • His system for charting stats/wins/losses during pratcice
  • Becoming a more positive coach as he has evolved in his career
  • Tips for handling social media with players
  • The story of his player Jason Preston
  • The challenge of sustaining the success of this past season

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THANKS, JEFF BOALS

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TRANSCRIPT FOR JEFF BOALS – OHIO UNIVERSITY MEN’S BASKETBALL HEAD COACH – EPISODE 476

[00:00:00] Mike Klinzing: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the Hoop Heads Podcast. It’s Mike Klinzing here without my co-host Jason Sunkle tonight, but I am pleased to be joined by the head coach of the men’s basketball team at Ohio University. Jeff Boals.  Jeff, welcome to the Hoop Heads Pod.

Jeff Boals: [00:00:12] Yeah, appreciate it. Sorry, we couldn’t have your cohost, but we’ll make do without him.

Mike Klinzing: [00:00:17] Yeah. We’re going to try to make the best of it and excited to have you on and talk some more. How you basketball. Let’s go back in time to when you were a kid, tell us about your first experiences with the game of basketball when you were younger. How’d you get into the game?

Jeff Boals: [00:00:30] Yeah, I mean, I always I kind of always played you know, even when I was little, I remember my mom and dad put up a plywood sheet and put like a little hoop and down in the basement and you know, Nerf basketball and they put a hoop up in my driveway, which is all gravel driveway and we lived up on a hill.

So I spent a lot of time chasing the ball down the hill. And you know, probably the, the biggest memories I have is just. You know, really being like in the [00:01:00] little bitty leagues in the high school coach, high school kids at Sandy valley coaching teams on Saturday morning, night after games.

And you know, just kinda went up from there, played junior high school and play the small school Sandy valley and started on the JV team my freshman year and a couple of games and got bumped up to you know, varsity. I was six foot two at the time. And I remember playing Canton south, and now these minor brothers I think it was curtain, maybe Chris minor.

And they were like two huge strong guys. And I remember that was like by welcome to a high school basketball moment. And you know, played four years, had some pretty good teams won a couple of district championships, played in a couple of regionals and you know, one is civic center and one in the field house and kin and No then ended up going to Ohio university tore my ACL for the first time in the state all-star game, north, south all-star game down in St. John arena. And I was 17 years at the time, [00:02:00] 17 years old and thought my life was over. You know, my recruiting was over and a lot of teams stopped recruiting me and I ended up walking on till how university of my first year didn’t practice then play and you know, rehab the whole year. And then my red shirt freshman year, I played 39 minutes the whole year not even equivalent to a whole game.

And you know, going through that experience, I was like, this will never happen again. So really worked hard in between my red shirt. Freshman year, sophomore year got stronger, tried to find my niche and my role on the team in high school I scored 32 points, 12 rebounds, but you know, college you’re playing against guys who are similar with, I played with some guys, Gary Trent, Geno Ford, Curtis Simmons Know, Chad Estis has a lot of really good players and I kind of had to find my role and really fell in that role, my sophomore, junior, senior year, and had a great college experience.

Mike Klinzing: [00:02:52] How did you come to that realization as a player? Because I know that’s difficult. A lot of times for kids who transitioned from high school to [00:03:00] college and especially nowadays with the way the transfer portal is and kids coming in, and if things don’t go exactly the way they want them to in that first year or two, then they end up, they ended up leaving.

And how did you go about just accepting kind of where you were, what you needed to do in order to be able to get out on the floor? Cause I feel like my experience was pretty similar. I came in as a freshman. I played maybe a few more minutes than you did about it and play a whole lot. And I figured out, look, this team doesn’t need me to score.

I got to, I got to play some defensive. I get out on the floor. And so you just adjust. So what was your mentality like at that point?

Jeff Boals: [00:03:30] Yeah. I mean, if you look at, when we played you worked harder, you bought your time you kind of. Stay the course. And if you look at now, I mean, it starts high school, right?

Kids are jumping high schools going to prep schools, AAU teams, or they’re playing on multiple AAU teams. And at the first sign of adversity, first sign of this is hard or not what I thought it’s believe. And you, like you said, you look at the transfer portal and there’s [00:04:00] kids in there for a lot of different reasons, some of the right reasons, some of the wrong reasons, but you know, it kind of, kind of, for me, it’s like I, I didn’t really play and I wasn’t very athletic.

So I had to kind of change my game. I had had my torn ACL, so really just trying to figure out how can I get on the floor? And it was more so, Hey, you better start taking charges, be a great team defender, rebound the basketball, be vocal dive on the floor for loose balls. You know, that, that kind of role.

And really that’s how I got minutes. You know, we had guys that could shoot guys who score, I set screens. You know, I guess when people start recognize you as a great full court screen setter, I think that’s a good thing, but that kind of became my niche and I accepted my role and it was a big part of who we were and, and, and us winning.

And I perfected the past. So to Gary Trent over top of my guy over top of his [00:05:00] guy to him in between another guy, cause there’s always like two or three guys around him and really it was all, it was just throw the ball up to about 10 and a half feet and go get it. And maybe you got to know where your bread is buttered.

Mike Klinzing: [00:05:12] And there’s no question about it. There’s no question about that. Yeah. I think once you, once you kind of accept and figure out where, where it is that you are and you, you adopt the mentality of, Hey, I just wanna, I just wanna get on the floor. I just want to be able to, I just want to be able to play.

And, and so many kids I think, want to get that want to be in that starring role. And as you said, it starts, it starts real early now. I mean, you go back to high school and AAU, like you mentioned, and kids are just, they’re always looking and thinking that the grass is greener at the next place instead of kind of digging in and really seeing what they can, what they can do.

What do you remember about playing for coach hunter during that time? What do you remember about him? What did you learn from him that maybe retrospectively impacted you at when you went into coaching?

Jeff Boals: [00:05:52] Yeah, I mean, a lot of things he was a very successful division, three coach and coach for a long time, [00:06:00] you know, a great mentor to me.

You know, even when I left, I would call him for big decisions getting married buying a car house, taking jobs certain basketball questions. And I really didn’t. I didn’t know. I didn’t, I didn’t know. I wanted to coach, I didn’t want to coach, like I want to be a physical therapist. I was a biology major I was taking cell chemistry, organic chemistry, neuroanatomy.

Am 20 games into my senior year. I tore my ACL for the third time and that’s really kind of started my coaching career. You know, I saw the game differently. I was around the coaches a little bit more. And then at the end of the year, he lost an assistant coach and asked me if I’d be interested in coaching.

And you know, when you’re 22 years old, you have no idea what you want to do in life. I’m like, sure, sure. Why not? Yeah. So I started my master’s degree in sport physiology and adult fitness. At that time I was the restricted earnings coach making $6,000 a year and really enjoyed being around the game.

And you know, you probably remember when you [00:07:00] played leaving the game is tough because you miss the locker room, you missed a competition and you’ve been doing it for so long and coaching you’re able to kind of fulfill that competition piece and being around young people and.

And the, the longer you coach, the more you realize why you coach, why you’re there, what’s your, why is the impact you can have on young men? You know, from a basketball standpoint, from a life standpoint. And I always told people my biggest regret on taking the Ohio university job was that coach hunter wasn’t there to see it.

He passed away a couple of years ago and you know, I would not be here without him today.

Mike Klinzing: [00:07:39] When you get that job initially, what was something that surprised you about coaching that maybe from a playing perspective, you didn’t realize coaches spent so much time doing one thing or another, or what, just being, becoming a part of the staff, especially at a school where you played, I’m sure there was some things kind of behind the scenes that [00:08:00] you weren’t aware of what was happening while you were playing.

So do you remember anything about that particular aspect of getting into coaching?

Jeff Boals: [00:08:06] Yeah. I mean, every situation is different, like as a player, right? You’re like you go to class, you go to weights, go to practice, you have your social life. And, and really you’re worried about what, what time are you going to eat your next meal?

Get your shots up as an assistant coach and, and the times have changed, the kids have changed. The recruiting has changed. You know, social media has been a complete change, good and bad for, for the sport. And for recruiting. You know, as an assistant coach, you, you were more about maybe a group of guys that you’re in charge of guys who you recruited, academics, recruiting you know, individual workout, stuffs scouting, and as a head coach, Know, you just oversee everything everything’s different and y’all all go way back.

My first [00:09:00] real job after Ohio university, I was the only full-time assistant at a division two school, university of Charleston. And I did everything. I do. Every scout. I did all the recruiting. I swept the floor, crank the baskets. You know, I was in charge of the laundry room. I did the laundry, I drove the vans.

I was the compliance director for 14 sports. So I did this for three years and it was a great lesson for me because I really had to manage a lot of different things. I was in charge of a lot of different things. I got my hands into different areas that helped me down the road. You know, when I got my job in Marshall and Robert Morrison, Akron, Ohio state.

And so I think when you go along the way, my first few years, I was always chasing bigger, more money and. Maybe about after four or five years, I realized you had to be present, right. You gotta be two feet where you’re at and not look forward. And really everything you do [00:10:00] is to help the head coach and the university be successful and in no job as a menial job.

And I think me being who I was at University of Charleston has helped me appreciate managers. GA’s support staff, video people the bus driver everything that they do to help our program win. And you know always the biggest compliment I ever heard from about that model who I worked for for seven years, he was the same guy as the head coach, 13 years at Ohio state university, that he was as a GA you know, back in Indiana state.

And you know, you see a lot of people have big egos and. Yeah, the higher they get, the more money they make they kind of forget where they came from and what their roots were. And I think part of the way I grew up in living in Magnolia, Ohio was some small town, moral Midwest values will never go away.

Mike Klinzing: [00:10:55] How does that manifest itself in what you do day-to-day as a head coach in [00:11:00] terms of your interactions, what does that look like? How do you make sure that your assistants, the janitor, the GA, the secretaries, how do you make sure that all those people know and understand how much you value them?

Jeff Boals: [00:11:13] I think you make time for them.

You know, their name you, you have meaningful conversations with them, not just a hi or bye ask them how they’re doing and really listen and give, give, give a t-shirt out. You know, that goes a long way, just from an appreciation standpoint. And I think everybody’s got a role, right?

Everyone’s got a job to do. And as the head coach, you’re the executive CEO oversee everything. You know, you’re a communicator you know, you’re a coach, you’re X and O’s. And so I think being a head coach, you have to really get the pulse and the temperature of people. And I’ve been a head coach five years now, my first year as a head coach, it was like completely different.

I was calling Coach Matta like every [00:12:00] week and I’ll never forget my first time out in a game. I call it, I call it time out and I’m like, time out like 30. And I’m like, oh, here we go. And before I even said a word, the first buzzer sounded I’m like, hold on. What happened? Yeah. What happened at the time? You know, you just those situations that you are prepared for.

And, and I think just having a mentor, like him has been huge for me being able to bounce ideas off of talk to, and cause he’s been through the same thing when he started coaching, but No. The other thing, I didn’t do a very good job of, I didn’t coach my coaches cause I, I had a young staff at Geno Ford.

Oh, it was on my staff who was great for me. But I had a couple of young guys who that was their first assistant job. And after that year I realized I spent so much time coaching my players, that I wasn’t coaching my staff on how to be better assistance and just kind of let them learn the ropes and help them move up.

[00:13:00] So kinda got to that as well.

Mike Klinzing: [00:13:01] All right, let’s go backwards. What did you learn as an assistant from the guys that you were under? Give me maybe one or two specific things from a specific coach that you learned from them about what it took to be a head coach, and then we can spin it forward to what do you try to do to develop your coaching staff now, as you’ve come to the realization that that’s an important piece of what you’re trying to do?

Jeff Boals: [00:13:22] Yeah, I mean, I was, I’ve been very fortunate, but I worked for a lot of great head coaches. You know, obviously Larry Hunter was the first head coach I worked for and. Yeah, the thing I got from him was just compete. You know, he must’ve said compete a thousand times a day and you know, to this day our practices and everything we do is driven by competition.

And then I worked for Jason Gee who was assistant coach on staff when I played it. Ooh. You know, he was the head coach at university of Charleston and really it was a division two school, but we wore shirt and tie every day just how to be professional. And, and I think just [00:14:00] a work ethic and managing time, because like I said, I did everything.

And then I got to a Marshall university and worked for Greg White and he was an unbelievable marketing person, just appearance, like how you dressed, how you treated people networking, building relationships. And then I went to Mark Schmidt and I worked for him for two years at Robert Morris.

He’s at St. Bonaventure now. And. You know, his work ethic was unbelievable. Really just appreciating the small things, really appreciate him winning cause you know, at that point it was hard to win, so he wouldn’t celebrate every win. And then I go to Keith Dambrot at Akron for three years and you know, he was great with constantly communicating with the players, really having a pulse on what was going on with them in their lives, girlfriends school problems, issues academics.

And it was really like, Hey, we gotta have a touch every day, whether it’s a text message or call in, in person. [00:15:00] And then from fat, I worked for fab for seven years and really the communication you know, he was unbelievable communicator and really a great motivator, how he figured out how to push every button to every individual, which when you’re dealing with 13 different kids, you have to find different ways to motivate them.

So I’ve taken a little bit of something from everyone. And you know, really when you become a head coach, everyone’s like, you gotta be yourself, but you’re going to draw on experiences that you enjoyed, what you thought was positive from everyone you work with and will work for.

Mike Klinzing: [00:15:35] Now as a head coach, what are some things that you try to pass along to your assistants?

And again, everybody’s in a different position. Some assistants are young and kind of starting out in their career. Others have been career assistance. Some guys have designs on eventually being able to be a head coach themselves. Some are content and happy and want to continue to be an assistant coach wherever they are.

So how do you just navigate what you’re doing with your assistance in terms of helping them to [00:16:00] develop individually in their career, but also obviously helping you and the OU program to get to where you guys want to go?

Jeff Boals: [00:16:06] Yeah, that’s important. You know, you gotta sit down and figure out what their goals are.

No, we do that with every player on our team and. You know, I think as a, as a leader, as a CEO, like my job as the kind of be a servant leader and help them out in their careers. And it’s a fine line because you look at all the great programs that, that that Duke’s and Gonzaga, and you know, all these programs that are Michigan states and Ohio state, like continuity is probably one of the best things of staff, right?

You’re not, you don’t have staff turnover. And when you have staff turnover, you gotta kind of keep, keep reteaching everything, right. Relearning everything. And it’s almost like you’re not progressing that way in, in doing other things. So, but I want them to be successful and fad really empowered us as assistant coaches gave us a lot of responsibility.

It gave us a lot coaching responsibility, [00:17:00] recruiting responsibility, and I think. You know, when, when you empower an assistant coach and give them responsibility, it’s going to help them. And they’re going to make mistakes like anybody, and then you got to correct them and help them and teach them. And I think just really understand like, Hey, if you want to be a head coach, you, here’s how you gotta act.

Here’s how you going to think here’s what this entails. And you know, a lot of times you’ll tell them when you make decisions think like a head coach would, and I’ll never get my first summer on the road in July, normally as an assistant coach, I’m calling the head coach, Hey man, this could play well, this could play well, Hey, call this kid, Texas guy, call this coach.

And I got my like eight, nine, 10 guys, right? Well, I was the head coach. You got three assistants doing it. And after you’re watching a full game or games all day long, you’ve got all these assistants telling you what this guy did in Texas guy. So you hear your list because was so [00:18:00] long. And I remember calling fad like, Hey man, I I’m, I’m a, I apologize.

I was a horrible assistant coach. So, but you know, you live and learn and, and it’s, it’s a great profession. You know, not so great business sometimes, but I love what I do and I think that’s a big part of it.

Mike Klinzing: [00:18:18] All right. Let’s talk a little bit about the, the transition from going from being an assistant coach, your last assistant coaching job at Ohio state.

With that model, obviously big 10 you know, big time school, you then get an opportunity to go and be the head coach at Stony Brook. So you’re stepping from an assistant coach to a head coaching position. Talk about the transition, both in terms of the level going from division one, division two, and then also the transition from assistant coach to head coach.

Jeff Boals: [00:18:46] Yeah, I think you always think you’re ready to be a head coach, but until you sit in that seat and go through those experiences you always learn and you always say it’s better to learn from winning the [00:19:00] learn from losing, right. You can still learn either way, but you gotta take your lumps and go through experiences and deal with adversity.

Like you know, you kind of shape who you are when you go through adversity and how you handle prosperity. And I think as an assistant sometimes it’s easier, but as a head coach, like you’re in charge. Like every decision you make affects winning, losing everyday things.

And you know, like when I, when I went from Ohio state to Stony Brook you go from completely different budgets travel facilities you name it. But I think the, the, one of the best things I can draw back on, like I was at university of Charleston division two school in a gym of a thousand people.

And I did, I drove the vans, crank the basket, swept the floor, did the laundry. So it, wasn’t a big adjustment for me being at a low major level at Stony Brook. But I, I loved it. I [00:20:00] mean, the onus is on you and you know, I think when you really look at the macro, the amount of decisions you make.

You on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis it’s like sometimes you go home and you asked your wife or your kids, what do you want to eat? And you’d be like, I don’t care. I kind of want to make it. But I think that’s the cool thing about just being in charge of your own program, putting your own imprint on it doing things the way you want to do it.

And you know, for me it, culture was big. You know, it’s an overused word, I think. But you know, we, we wanted high character guys, like guys who did the right thing on and off the court we made some tough decisions when I got the job getting rid of some kids, but they weren’t as tough as you would think, knowing how we wanted to do things.

And we actually did better and kind of overachieve because of that. And year two at Stonybrook, we took a little bit of a dip because we got rid of some upperclassmen. We were young. And then year three, when I was up there, I mean, we had 11 [00:21:00] freshmen, sophomores, one junior. And we won 24 games. We beat South Carolina, Rhode Island, George Washington, Northern Iowa.

And it was a positive culture. It w it was like come to work every single day culture and has loved playing with each other and for each other. And, and we had guys who accepted their roles, and that’s the biggest thing, right? As a head coach is really being transparent with every individual, getting everyone on the same page, because that’s probably the most difficult thing.

When I was at Ohio state, the year we went to the final four in 2012, we got beat by, let’s say 20 some at Wisconsin. And when we came back, coach Mata had a team meeting, was like, Hey, look like if I’m going to be the eighth person you guys listened to, it’s not going to work. Like, I can’t be number eight by no, I’m not gonna be or two where I can’t be a cause all of these young people have so many people, I call him the externals.

Right? All these people around him. And like you alluded to before, [00:22:00] when you come in there’s expectations individually, right. From peers. And when I come in and play a role and I go 32 points as a senior high school to six points, a game to five points, a game, everyone’s like, Hey, wait a minute. Yeah, you go to the highest level.

Everybody thinks they’re going to be in the NBA. So now it’s like, Mike’s not throwing the ball mikes. He’s not, he shouldn’t be playing over top of you. You know, you’re better than Mike. He looks you off on the transition. So now you’ve got always negative thoughts in your head. And as a coach, you’re trying to program everybody for one goal being on the same page, playing together.

And so managing all those egos and externals and. And you know, that’s probably the biggest thing as a coach is trying to get everyone on your team on the same page.

Mike Klinzing: [00:22:46] What does that look like day to day? So is that, is that formal conversations is that informal conversations. How do you go about continuously getting your kids the message about, Hey, here’s what we’re trying to achieve as a team.

[00:23:00] And here’s what we need you to do in order to help us achieve that. How do you get that message across?

Jeff Boals: [00:23:04] Yeah, it’s, it’s got a stored in the recruiting process being transparent and really talking about how we do things. You know, the way we do things and that way, when they get there, it’s not like, wait a minute you told me I was going to be able to shoot 20 times, you know?

So it starts in the recruiting process, being transparent, truthful, and understanding who we have in our program and how we run things and how, how we’ve won. And then I think it’s when they get there sitting them down. And building a relationship off the court, right? So then when tough times do come, it’s easier to talk about things, let them know your door’s always open.

You can talk about whatever. Whenever I’m sitting down with them, explaining their role in what I think the role should be for the team here, what they think their role should be. And sometimes it might come to a mutual decision because your role this year, [00:24:00] isn’t going to be the same next year. You know, it’s going to change with people coming in and out.

And it’s tough sometimes to accept that role because you feel as an individual, I can do more. I can do this well, that’s great, but that’s not what the team needs. And you know, it’s a team game if you want to be an individual, go, I go play golf, go play tennis, whatever it may be. And so I think it’s tough, but if you’re transparent, if you have the expectations.

And every now and then kids are going to be frustrated right. By the role. Sometimes you bring it up in front of the whole team sometimes you do it individually. Sometimes the assistants do it before it even gets to you. And I think when you have good kids, it’s a lot easier to be able to relay that message.

Mike Klinzing: [00:24:44] All right. So talking about that and bringing in good kids into your program, let’s talk a little bit about recruiting. How do you start out year to year? Where does your initial list of players come from that you’re looking at? Where do you go? How do you put together that list with your staff of guys that you [00:25:00] want to at least take a look at and consider bringing into the program?

Jeff Boals: [00:25:04] Yeah, I think a lot, a lot of times your assistants do a great job of building relationships with all you guys, high school guys. And I think it’s important that the assistant knows what type of player that head coach wants, who he wants to coach. And there’s times as insistent, you like, man, this kid’s really good he’s does this and this, but he might not be the best person player to, for the head coach to coach.

So now it’s like, Hey, you gotta figure out who that might be. And you know, it’s tough sometimes, but that’s, that’s kind of the way things should be. And you know, you, you look at recruiting services a lot more for names than anything, not the evaluation because those guys go out way more than coaches do, especially in the spring time when you know, coaches can’t go out on the road recruiting and you know, you really just gotta do your job about building relationships around the kid, a high school coach, Hey, you [00:26:00] coach the assistant coach, the workout guy, the aunt, the uncle, the mom dad’s brother should, whoever may be really.

So when you’re talking to those people they’re saying the same message to the kid. What you’re saying, and so you really try to get a list of kids and, and normally on an average year, you’re gonna bring in two or three kids per year, our first couple of years at Ohio, we brought in like seven, my first year, six months second year we’re bringing in three this year, which is an exorbitant amount that you normally would, but we had attrition guys, leaving guys, we got rid of the transfer portal.

There’s an average of three kids per team per year leaving. It’s crazy. Yeah. So everything’s fluid and you always got to the team that you have start the year is going to be never the team. You start the next year with. And so you got to constantly keep recruiting and building relationships and staying in touch with people.

Mike Klinzing: [00:26:57] How do you balance out your evaluation of a [00:27:00] player between watching them with their high school team versus watching them with their AAU team and the spring or summer? How do you balance out what that evaluation looks like for you?

Jeff Boals: [00:27:09] Okay. That’s a great question. I laugh because when I was at Akron, we recruited a kid, Shelvin Mack.

And when you saw him play, like the only time you really see him play was AAU. And he played with the D one greyhounds, OJ Mayo, Billy Walker. They were loaded pros on the team. And on that team Mack was like catch, reverse, catch drive, past shot. He was a distributor. And I remember coach Dan brown, seeing him.

He’s like, ah, he’s a good player that but when you go see him you know, in high school, you went to a small school in Kentucky, He’s like, oh, wow. Finish. Yeah. Yeah. It was like 27 points a game. So the evaluation, when you see them high school day, you a completely different evaluations. And he ended up going to Butler had a great career there [00:28:00] and played in the NBA for awhile.

So I think it’s important to see kids in different settings. You know, you might see my, a showcase where it’s like you bring in 60 kids and they just hoop. Right. Well, that might not be a great setting for that kid. You know, Jared soldier would go to these Nike camps and whatever it never touched the ball unless he read, got the ball bounce.

Yeah, exactly. He was pretty darn good. So I think it’s important to see those kids in different settings and cause they, they have different roles in their high school team and AAU teams along that line.

Mike Klinzing: [00:28:31] Is it easier maybe to evaluate guards in an AAU slash showcase setting. Cause they’re more likely to have the ball in their hands versus maybe a kid who’s going to play more on the interior who like Salinger, isn’t going to get the ball as much.

Maybe they’re better off being evaluated as a high school player or is it just player to player? It doesn’t really, it doesn’t really translate necessarily.

Jeff Boals: [00:28:50] No, I think it does. I mean when you have, when you’re a guard, you have the ball more in your hands and you know, even if it’s one pass away that guys are going to pass or shoot it.

And [00:29:00] you know, that’s why I think it’s important to see big guys like that with their high school team, because normally they’ll probably the best player have plays, ran for them. You know, there, there was a kid we recruited Stonybrook who played with team takeover and team taker was always loaded and he just played a role.

And I talked to his parents, I’m like he doesn’t look to shoot ever did it. So we’ll put them on a different team where he has to score, right. So they put them on this team take over orange team. Now, now he’s the guy and he played confident and free and loose, and it was this a completely different player.

But a lot of times it goes back to bigger’s not always better, right. In grass, isn’t always greener. It’s greener where you water it. And it’s what you make the most of when you’re where you’re at.

Mike Klinzing: [00:29:46] Yeah. I think when you can, when you can get to so much of it is the right fit for both the player and then you as a staff, bringing in people that, that fit your profile.

So if you had to describe the profile of [00:30:00] the type of player that you’re looking for, and obviously forget about the basketball skill, there’s clearly what a level of skill that they need to have in order to, they all play at your level. But when you think about the type of player that you and your staff want to coach, what does that player look like?

Jeff Boals: [00:30:13]  Yeah. So three things, we always look for high character guys on and off the court that are going to do the right thing. Guys who love the game of basketball, like I want guys, your ambition is to be a pro. And you know, why, why do I want that? You know, I know they’re going to be in the gym extra.

I know they going to watch the tape. I know they’re gonna take care of the bodies. You know, getting treatment, going to sleep. We want guys serious about their degree, you know? And then we talk about non-negotiables going into classes. Non-negotiable and you know, we want guys who want to get your degree and go to class.

Cause you know, I call, I call guys, I don’t want to coach wheelbarrows guys. You got to push all the time because it’s not going to work. Like if I have to constantly tell you to go to class and constantly tell you to get in the gym and shoot extra, [00:31:00] like it’s not worth, you know what we’re doing, how we’re doing it to me, making you do something you really don’t want to do.

So that’s who we, we kind of look for and I think it goes back to recruiting the expectation, right? When you come in here, here’s, what’s expected of you. It’s expected to go to class it’s non-negotiable it was expected for you to do extra and it’s, it’s fine. If it’s some guys don’t want to play pro, like, I know everyone’s dream isn’t to play pro, but you know, they still have to have that work ethic be a great teammate.

You know, they can’t be like an energy vampire where if they’re not playing, they’re just sucking the life out of a practice and locker room. But you know, the kids are human and you know, the tough thing is when you come in is with the first time you really face adversity, right? How are you going to respond?

And we use we use an equation that a guy, Tim Kight who I don’t know if you’ve heard of Tim. Yeah. So we use that all the time and I really think that’s what helped us get [00:32:00] through our 21 day pause or canceled last two games, regular season, you know? So we always talk about the response. What’s your response company.

And I think when you really make guys think, and when they hit adversity that’s when they need you the most, right? They need you when you’re a freshman coming in and you have the ups and downs and you’re not playing and you know, you’re tired and you hit that wall. That’s when I need you.

And that’s what you have to help them through it at the time, they don’t understand it. You know, they don’t realize it, but afterwards they, they understand the discipline though the commitment that you need to be successful at this level,

Mike Klinzing: [00:32:41] When you start thinking about looking for those kinds of kids that have those characteristics, and you mentioned earlier, how.

You’re not just recruiting the kid, but you’re also recruiting this sort of external circle of people that are around them that come with them. That become part of your program, whether that’s mom, dad, high school coach, AAU, coach trainer, [00:33:00] friend, and uncle. So how do you in the recruiting process, how much time do you spend having conversations and evaluating those external people that are around them in order to make sure that you’re bringing in not only the right player, but also making sure you’re not bringing in something that you don’t want from that external circle?

Jeff Boals: [00:33:20] Yeah. I think it all starts with transparency. You know, like letting the expectation of a here’s, what we expect, here’s who we want. And you know, at the end of the day really most parents, they want you to hold their kid accountable. You know, they want you to discipline their kid when they need discipline.

They want you to hug their kid when they need a hug. And most importantly, they want you to prepare them for the world world. And think about all the experiences you had playing basketball, the parallel relationship to the business world and time works, discipline, [00:34:00] time management, teamwork, handle adversity, handle prosperity all of those basketball, athletic, like th that’s life lessons and you’re going through them.

And I think when you talk to a kid, you always saying, Hey, who’s going to help you make a decision. And when they start saying like 15 people, they’re like, right. You, you have to you’re, you have to have a circle, right. A small circle. And it’s, it’s like, preferably make that circle of dot.

Who are the people close to you? They care about you in your well-being and your future for you to be successful. Right? Mom, dad, grandma might be a coach, but. Those people are the people that will never lie to you. Right? Those people are the people who want you to be successful. Right. And it’s like, you might go through a deal.

Mom and dad, aren’t getting up at 6:00 AM to lift weights, right. They’re not going to eight o’clock class. [00:35:00] You’re the one doing it. So it’s going to be your decision. But you know, mom, dad, grandma, whoever the circle is, they’ve been through life. They’ve been through experiences. They’ve seen people dealt with people.

So a lot of times they know what’s best for the kid. So they’ll give their opinion and, and, and hopefully they make the right one.

Mike Klinzing: [00:35:20] Yeah, I think that, like I said, I think the right fit is really ended up being the key for both the kid and their family. And then obviously for you guys as a program, let’s dive into some basketball stuff.

Tell me a little bit about how you go about during your season. You could pick maybe a point in the season, let’s say let’s, let’s call it pre season. We are putting together a practice plan. What does your practice plan process look like for putting together a daily, a daily practice? What does that look like?

Jeff Boals: [00:35:47] Yeah, I mean, that’s probably the most time consuming thing is the head coach, right? Trying to figure out what to do. How long to do it, how hard to do it, what you want to get accomplished that day. And you got have the [00:36:00] pulse of everything, right? The season, how tired guys are how long you want to go, is it worth going really long and not getting out of it?

What you want out of it? No, or is it saying, Hey, we’re going to do these three things today. They could take an hour and 15 minutes. It can take two hours. You know, it’s going to be up to you guys. And I think the biggest thing is really getting you and your staff every single day to bring that energy right in such a long year.

Now, now it’s it’s year round or summer workouts, you don’t fall workouts. You’re doing pre-season workouts. It’s such a long year. So you really have to keep the energy level and the consistency. And one thing with that, that I really took was fresh minds and fresh legs. No, he kept on saying that.

So we don’t practice very long, even in the pre season we might go two and a half hours tops to start the year. You know, when you’re doing more teaching the way they [00:37:00] do summer workouts now you can get all your defensive philosophy principles in. You know how to guard this screen, this screen, this screen maybe your flow offense, your four, I went in here you’re you know, rules to this.

So when you start practicing you’ve really already had the micro piecing it together. It’s not like when we play, man, like you had that buildup October 31st or October 15th and midnight patterns was coming in, everything was new and you’re practicing four hours a day try to get everything in it’s completely different.

So that’s probably one of the toughest thing is just really trying to figure out what drills to do. You know, we were talking about it during the course of the year and we lost the Kent state by 10 in our place. And we got our rebound by like 30 and we had a quick turnaround.

So as a coach, I’m like, okay, did we go out and just do rebounding drills and put the bubble up and risk hurting [00:38:00] somebody. But to set the tone and make an example, or we got this quick turnaround, do we watch film? Do we chart every possibility to block out every miss block out every out how many rebounds you got and show them, right.

This has gotta be our practice today. Cause we play in two days. So I chose that way, right. To save their bodies and we got good kids and, and I had some upper-class kids, so it’s a little easier. Right. And, and they do in the NBA all the time. They watch film and that’s your practice, but there’s got to be carry over.

And since that game we played them. You know, we really charted it every single game, every single practice to make it an emphasis. And I think we won maybe 10 of our last 12 and started beating everybody. And that was a big emphasis for us.

Mike Klinzing: [00:38:52] Is that Jeff, is that just a feel thing, Jeff, in terms of just knowing your team and your kids and kind of where you are in the rhythm of the season of whether or [00:39:00] not we got to get out on the floor or whether or not watching the tape is just enough.

Jeff Boals: [00:39:04] Yeah, definitely. And it’s a feel having played you kind of have a, an idea and a lot of times dad used to always say like, if you’re tired as a coach, they’re tired as a player. Right. And you know, sometimes it might be just a simple come in stretch shoot, walk through you’re out of there.

And it might be a situation where you take two days off in a row, which you never do. And you don’t feel good about as a coach, but those two days off go further than anything because it’s a mental refresher, it’s a physical refresher. And like I said before, it’s such a long year. That you need those breaks and the COVID pause, like as bad as it was, it might’ve helped us it’s like

Mike Klinzing: [00:39:55] Hit the reset button, right?

Yeah. How do you feel about you think back to [00:40:00] when the era, when you and I played and what the summer was like for a player in our era versus what a summer is like for a player in today’s era and conversely also for a coach versus what it was like back then. And it just feels like to me that when you’re going pretty much 11 months out of the year, that it would be easy to get stale, both from a coaching stand for point and a playing standpoint of just being around each other that much where there isn’t that break to recharge and come back and be like, oh, I can’t wait to get back in the gym with my team, with my teammates, with my coach.

I just, how do you approach that to make sure that your team doesn’t get stale with the amount of time that you guys are putting in, in the gym year round?

Jeff Boals: [00:40:43] Yeah. I mean back when we played, it’s like no cell phones, you left school and you, you did your own deal. Yeah. They S

Mike Klinzing: [00:40:53] they handed, I remember they handed me a two page.

Did ode workout they’re like, all right, here’s your workout. We’ll see it. We’ll see you [00:41:00] in August. You know, come back. I hope you, I hope you can make the two mile run when you come back. Good luck. Yeah.

Jeff Boals: [00:41:04] Yeah. And now there’s something to be said for that. Like, who really wants to be good? Like who’s going to work out.

Absolutely. You know, now it’s like, you got summer school, you got access, you got trainers, you got nutritionists, you got everything there for you. But at the same time, like you said, it’s year round, man. It’s a grind. It’s a long year. And you know, we got done with our season and you know, all of our classes were virtual.

I told our guys to go home for two and a half weeks, like, get outta here. You know, normally you get maybe a week off and start right back up. But some of our guys had not been home since June, July. And I think mentally more than anything, it’s kind of like a refresh reset, regroup. You know, we worked out for one week lifted for two, and then finals was here and you know, summer one we got about eight of our guys will be home [00:42:00] and we’ll give them a weightlifting program and figure out where, where are they going to be in a gym, but I’ve always thought like, as an individual, right?

Your, your goal or your job is to get better, right. We’ll help you, but your job individually to get better we’re bringing in new recruits, right. And if they come in respect this person and compete, compete, try to elevate everybody, or you’re going to get bypassed. And that’s your job, that’s your fault.

You know, you have the same opportunities as the next guy, how hard you work. Right. What do you do. And you know, but I think going back, it’s such a long year where you, you really have to be smart about how much you’re doing when you’re doing it, how you’re doing it.

Mike Klinzing: [00:42:44] What about during the season film work?

How much film are, I mean, I know how much film you guys are watching a lot, but how much do you share with your players during the year? I know they have access. Obviously they can watch as much as they want on their own. But how much are you guys sitting down with them either [00:43:00] individually, like maybe with their position coach or with you guys collectively as a team, how much film are you putting in front of them?

Jeff Boals: [00:43:07] Yeah, I mean, it was completely different cause of COVID we, we went into a bigger room and did less we very rarely ever watch a whole game back when I played. Man. It was like death. You knew it was coming. You’re watching the whole game and absolutely.

No, you knew the point where you did something bad

Mike Klinzing: [00:43:28] where yeah. And then, then, then having that thing skipped like three minutes passed. So you have to watch it like seven times and the coach couldn’t get it to stop at the right point. Yeah.

Jeff Boals: [00:43:38] We do a lot of edits. You know, we do a lot of individual stuff with our guys individually.

And then when we do scouting reports, it’s more all edits of the opponent office, defense personnel, and post game, the next day to kind of wrap up we’ll do edits of good, negative and positive. You know, I, I’m not a [00:44:00] believer in just showing all negative, negative, negative I think you got to accentuate what you did well, and even if it’s something like, Hey look.

We lost a game and here’s four defensive transition clips where you didn’t run back. You didn’t communicate, you didn’t stop the ball. And we gave up 10 points out of those four possessions. Okay. Look at these four possessions during the game where we did do it. Right? Boom. You’re talking point and you’re building a wall, your contestant shots, they scored two points.

You know, that’s the difference right there. If we would’ve done this in these three possessions it’s a fine line of winning, losing. So I think it’s like show them what they did wrong. But also show them, Hey, this is where you’re doing it. Right. You know, you’ve done it now. You gotta be consistent with it.

Mike Klinzing: [00:44:45] Yeah. That’s so important. I just think back to, I don’t remember that ever happening to me when I was a player on any level. It was almost always at that point, it was always almost negative. Like here we gotta get better at this. I think coaches today, obviously there’s been a, there’s been a shift sort of in just [00:45:00] the way that coaches approach things because kids have changed in that respect.

I think in terms of the type of coaching that they respond best to. And obviously as coaches, we try to evolve and make sure that we’re getting the most out of our athletes and that’s taken us to evolve and make it just do things a little bit differently than maybe it would have been done back in the day when you and I played, you mentioned earlier that everything that you guys do on the practice floor and in games and in your program is based on being competitive.

So if I’m a high school coach or I’m a a coach starting out in my career and I want to be able to develop. A competitive practice environment. What are some things that you do to make sure that you’re getting your kids to compete day in and day out?

Jeff Boals: [00:45:44] Yeah, I think some of the best ones I’ve ever been around, if you do a drill just to do a drill, they’re kind of like, why are we doing this right?

But if you put a, a point system on it and you say, you’re gonna, somebody’s gonna win, somebody’s gonna [00:46:00] lose the loser’s gonna run or loser as a punishment. They’re like, okay, game on. Let’s go. It could be the same drill. But now if you put plus two for an offensive rebound, plus one for a defensive rebound plus five for taking the charge, plus one for diving on fourth, loose ball, first one to 10 wins right now.

It’s like, you, you have a purpose for the drill it’s competing and you know, we’ll do, we’ll do one possession games. You know, first one to score wins best of seven series. There might be best of three series jump ball first to five just to compete in everything you do. And I think when, when you get that competitive drive and understand that every possession matters, because I mean, you look at how many games.

I mean, my first year of coaching, we had so many close games, one possession games. And after like the fourth or fifth one, I went back and started looking at everything [00:47:00] differently, watching the last five minutes, every game coming up with like two out of bounds, plays to sight out of bounds plays to set plays that if we don’t have any timeouts, this is what we’re running.

And I wasn’t prepared for that going in to be a head coach. But I think the more competition, the better, I think it’s going to elevate your program elevate individually, and you’re going to really stress the importance of every possession matters. Winning, losing is a fine line.

Mike Klinzing: [00:47:28] What’s your system for charting, recording, keeping track of that.

During during practice, how do you keep track of that? And do the players, there is a cumulative where the players know like, Hey, I won, I won six drills today, or I was on the winning team four times. Just how do you organize that piece of it?

Jeff Boals: [00:47:46] Yeah. So a lot of times our managers will chart who wins and loses like some pickup and we chart all that.

It’s amazing. When you look at in the summer certain guys win certain guys [00:48:00] lose and throughout the course, we try to change up the teams and practice in the preseason before we kind of get a set rotation and want to get into our consistent area. We, we, we have a gold standard.

We call it the Bobcat standard, where we chart every shot, assist steel turnover, charge taken, and it’s really a point system. And. No, we added up every single day and there’s a Bobcat standard winner every day. We keep a cumulative for the year and for the week. And it’s amazing how it kind of plays itself out when you’re looking at it and you know, when you’re posting the kids show you, they see it and they see they have turnovers in the turnover’s minus two, like they’re going to be more aware of it, right.

If they see, well, I got three offensive rebounds in a week, offensive rebounds are worth plus 1.5 then that I’m more aware of and they want to do it more. And [00:49:00] you know, they’re number seven and man, I’m going to get up to number five. So that’s another competition piece where we just short every stat, every five B five live drill.

Mike Klinzing: [00:49:09] Is that mostly the managers that are doing that assistant coaches who’s, who’s taking keep track of that day to day?

Jeff Boals: [00:49:13] Yeah. So really we do it after practice watching the film and okay. And just kind of keep a running effort and then we post it and then we’ll either screenshot it, capture it, send it to the team to be a text so they can see daily what it, what it looks like.

Mike Klinzing: [00:49:29] How long does it take you to go through? Let’s say you have an hour and a half practice. How long does it take you to go through the tape of that hour and a half practice?

Jeff Boals: [00:49:36] Yeah, I think it depends on what is coaching. We’ll look at them and sometimes early you’re going to watch everything but when you get into it, you’re going to fast forward through the passing stuff, the, the fundamental stuff and, and the shooting stuff, and really get to the five B five, four before the three, B three, all the breakdown stuff.

And really seeing what you need to continue to work on what, what, what we’re doing well, what we need to [00:50:00] fine tune. You know, so it just kind of varies throughout the year.

Mike Klinzing: [00:50:03] What would you say is the biggest thing that you’ve changed about your belief about practice since you first got into coaching?

Jeff Boals: [00:50:12] Yeah, probably positivity piece.  You’re like, he’s just like Yoda, just a Jedi mind tricks. And there’ll be days in assistant where we huddle up afterwards and he’d be like, Hey we started off slow and picked it up and really finished strong as the effort did it. And as an assistant, you’re thinking like worst practice we’ve ever had, but like right.

The positivity, getting your guys to think they’re doing well and believe in. So I think just the positivity, really building confidence and belief in your guys. It, like you said, it’s a different kid and social media has changed everything, the likes and the direct messages and the follows. And there’s a [00:51:00] lot of sensitive people out there and, and some people are blunt to the point, hit him between the eyes.

No, but I think you really have to know the individual, you to be able to get through to them. And you know, I mean, when I played, I mean, coach hunter would rip me. He would yell at me and I would get fired up. Right. I’ll be like, okay, I’m going to show you. Right. I’m going to play harder. Some guys, you yell at them, they go into a shell and it’s the complete opposite.

What you need them to do. You call somebody out in front of the team. It’s not the way to do it. Right. You walk up to that individual and be like, Hey Mike, come on, man. You’re not playing hard enough. Your dog did it. Or you’re hurting us. I got your coat. Like, so you gotta figure out how to talk and communicate to everybody.

And I think that’s kind of what leadership is even a captain. Right? You got to figure out how you can talk to your center and your powerful word and whatever to get through to them.

Mike Klinzing: [00:51:56] Yeah. There’s no doubt about that. How do you handle social media? What’s what do you do? [00:52:00] How do you talk to the kids about what they should be, shouldn’t be doing, looking at?

And I know I’m sure that kid has a good game and gets lots of positive messages. Kids has a bad game, and all of a sudden that that negativity is coming. That’s something that I think back to when I played and I can’t even imagine what that would have been like to have to deal with those kinds of incoming messages coming to you.

So how do you help your kids to handle that?

Jeff Boals: [00:52:25] Yeah. I mean, it, it’s tough because it’s a social media driven world right now with these kids. And there’s so many distractions, right? There’s like tech talk and Snapchat and Instagram and Twitter and this, and it’s like, there’s a lot of good stuff, but there’s a lot of bad stuff.

And then these kids are human, right. If, if they have a really good game oh man, you’re awesome. You’re great. We love you. You know, whatever you have a bad game, you suck, go kill yourself. You don’t deserve a scholarship. You need to transfer. And I don’t care who you are, right. These kids search their names on Twitter, [00:53:00] or like that sticks in your head no matter what.

And like Aaron Craft, like the kid had no social media and he just thought it was worthless, took too much of his time doing what the distraction like. And I do play with a clear mind and, and I think it separate those, right? What you post, what you retweet and you want your guys to have a platform.

You want them to have a voice, especially now with what’s going on in the social injustice. Like you want them to express themselves for sure. But you have to educate and teach like everything else. Like sometimes if you post a picture or you’re, you’re in someone else’s video, you’re at a party and someone passes you a beer and you take it and go to pass to someone else and you take a picture out there for sure is reality sometimes.

So you really just got to educate, teach talk. Try to use different experiences from other people doing negative [00:54:00] things how can it impact you positively? How can impact you negatively? And I think now that you have this name image of like this coming up, like it’s going to magnify social media even more, right.

The digital social platforms. And we as coaches have to help build these brands. But understanding if Mike, if you post something, you had a picture of a gun and you’re doing whatever like that could affect your earning capacity. For sure.

Mike Klinzing: [00:54:29] Yeah. Long-term, long-term not just short-term but long-term

Jeff Boals: [00:54:32] so there’s a lot that goes into it.

Mike Klinzing: [00:54:35] All right. Let’s shift from that more of a negative story. Let’s shift to a very positive story that. You’ve been able to be a part of with Jason Preston story. Can you just kind of give us the thumbnail sketch of what just a special kid and his circumstances, and just share with maybe audience members who maybe don’t know the story at all, or people who do know it just kind of shed some light on what has [00:55:00] been unique about the experience of coaching him?

Jeff Boals: [00:55:01 Yeah. So Jason Preston just a phenomenal person. Great basketball player, great teammate, very good student. You know, he’s 15 hours from graduating. You know, he’s been in school three years but you know, five years ago he was six feet tall, 140 pounds lost his mom six years ago. No dad around and he started living with his mom’s best friend’s son who was like 27 years old and an apartment is and become his legal guardian and uncle live in Jamaica.

And you know what? He scored 52 points his whole senior year in high school, or didn’t even start a game. And at the end of the year, he decided to go to central Florida as a student. So he enrolled in summer classes, took some classes from central Florida and then four of his buddies were playing in a unsigned senior tournament, AAU tournament in Orlando, in July.

So they said, Hey, we need a fifth. Do you want to play? And he’s like, yeah, sure. I’ll play. [00:56:00] So he goes and plays in his tournament and a prep school coach comes up to him and says, Hey, where are you going to school? Next year? He says central Florida. And he’s like the play. And he’s like, no, I’m just going to school.

He was like, man, you need to go to prep school. You have a chance to be a division one player. So the kid was really excited about that and decided to go to Billy prep academy and in Tennessee. And there’s four different teams. There’s an, a, B, C, D team. And. He was on the B team played well, they bumped him up to the 18, which is the best team and didn’t play a whole lot.

So you want to go back down to the C team with his buddies. So he goes to the C team is like a rec league. Yeah. It was like a triple double. And he made his own Twitter, his highlight tape, put it on Twitter and Longwood university in Ohio university called about him and offered him scholarship. So he visited both and ended up going to Ohio university.

And when he got that to you, he was like 63, maybe 160 pounds. And [00:57:00] played his freshman year. I was five points a game. And then I got the job. He grew another half inch to an inch gain, 20 pounds that summer lifting it Eaton. And you know, had a phenomenal sophomore year really, really good junior year.

This year that we declare for the NBA draft is going to test the waters. And he deserves everything that he has coming his way. His life is a movie. You know, what he’s been through, the adversity has been through to where he is today.

Mike Klinzing: [00:57:28] What do you guys hear and about where he stands with the draft at this point?

Are you hearing anything?

Jeff Boals: [00:57:32] Yeah, I think right now he’s probably a second round pick and the draft combine’s coming up, the first part of the late part of June. So he’ll have a chance to kind of impress people and, and let them see him who he is. And I think if he doesn’t like what he here she’ll come back, it’d be, if he thinks he can do it he’ll leave and there’ll be, nobody rooting harder for him than me.

Mike Klinzing: [00:57:55] Absolutely. All right. We are coming up on an hour. Jeff, I want to ask you one final two-part [00:58:00] question. And the first part of it is when you look ahead in the next, let’s say year or two, what’s the biggest challenge that you see on the horizon. You can take that whatever direction you want, and then number two, what’s the biggest joy that you get every morning when you get to get out of bed and come into your office and be the head coach at Ohio university.

What’s your biggest joy from that?

Jeff Boals: [00:58:20] Yeah, I think the first one know, I think about when you said that was just kind of repeating right. Doing what we did this year and it’s hard and, and you never want to use the rally car rally cry, repeating. It’s more about the process of getting there, right?

What you do on a daily basis and every year is different. Every team’s different. When you, when the following year you’re, you’re more marked you’re the hunter, hunter D not the hunter. You know, do fans back in the stands make a difference where people are trying to impress everybody.

So I think just the process of getting back to where we were I [00:59:00] think about I think it’s going to be the biggest challenge for us when I get up every day I’m, I’m dreaming of really, how can I improve our program? Right on a daily basis. And we have a simple goal for our team to get better as a team every day, and to get closer as a team every day.

And it goes back to everything we talked about, how do you not create a stale environment? How do you keep the energy? How do you challenge your guys? You know, what, what, what decisions do you make? You know, from a food standpoint, from a workout standpoint, nutrition standpoint recovery standpoint, how do we get better?

And I think when you’re the head coach and you oversee everything, you really constantly, your mind is always thinking of different ideas, how to improve your program. My wife always tells me I’m one of few people in the world that love what I do and to do it at my Alma mater is even more special.

And the fact that we won a championship this year to have our guys, [01:00:00] you know, be able to experience what I was able to experience as a, as a player. No, it’s just an awesome feeling.

Mike Klinzing: [01:00:05] Absolutely, before we get out, Jeff, I’m going to give you a chance to share how people can connect with you, whether you want to share social media, OU website, whatever it is, the best way for people to reach out to you after they listen.

If they want to just have a conversation or hit you up, find out more about your program and then I’ll jump back in and wrap things up. Yeah.

Jeff Boals: [01:00:23] So ironically, when I was at Akron, Dan Tutor said, Hey coaches, the next big thing is Twitter. You know, you sign, you need to sign up for it. I’m thinking like, how does who’s going to read 140 characters?

I couldn’t comprehend what, how, why? So I did it and it was like, add Jeff bulls, J E F F B O A L S. And I’ve come to find out there’s a lot of Jeff Boalss is in the country, but that’s my Twitter name, my Instagram name. And you know I feel like I’m on there often and try to engage with people doing that and Yeah.

So that’s, that’s how I can get ahold of me.

[01:01:00] Mike Klinzing: [01:00:59] Fantastic. Jeff cannot thank you enough for taking the time out of your schedule to jump on with us and share with our audience and to everyone out there. Thanks for listening. And we will catch you on our next episode. Thanks.

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