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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, March 12, 2010

UH had its eye on Boyle in '81

By Ferd Lewis

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Tad Boyle

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In 1981 the University of Hawai'i nearly pulled off a recruiting coup in attempting to pry a 6-foot-4 guard in Greeley, Colo., away from a commitment to Kansas.

Now, almost 30 years later, UH has a shot at Tad Boyle again.

Boyle is the head coach at Northern Colorado and has the surprising Bears headed to the postseason with a 24-7 record in their third season of eligibility as an NCAA Division I member.

What Boyle has done at UNC and what he did in beating the 'Bows here the first week of this season have made him a contender for the UH job in eyes of some in Mānoa and beyond.

After all, the reasoning goes, if you can take a program that was 4-24 three years earlier to the postseason and do it from odoriferous Greeley, Colo., on a shoestring budget and $110,000-a-year salary, well, what can't you do?

The Bears had managed two winning seasons in 14 years at Division II when they took on the transition to Division I in tandem with the football team going to Division I-AA.

You might remember UH smacked around the UNC football team, 63-6, three years ago. Basketball, too, took its lumps in 2006-07, ranking 336th out of, well, 336 teams.

Those numbers remain posted at UNC where they have served as a reminder for Boyle and the players as they piled up wins and very nearly knocked off Oklahoma in Norman, Okla.

UH might have well seen the end of Boyle when, after making a recruiting visit to UH, he reportedly wrestled with his decision for a couple of days before turning down Larry Little. Boyle went on to captain KU his senior year under Larry Brown and then put a business degree to use as a stockbroker in Boulder, Colo.

But after being a part-time high school coach, Boyle got the itch to get into coaching full time and climbed from the high school ranks to assistant positions at Oregon, Tennessee and Wichita State before returning to UNC, where he grew up and his father once taught.

Would the 47-year-old Boyle take the UH job if the offer came to him? "I'm just focused on our team and our season right now," he said, declining additional comment.

Boyle narrowly got away from UH once. Will the 'Bows get him this time?