Dennis Felton said David Boyden was the most important player in his tenure as Western’s basketball coach.
Last March, Felton said Boyden had meant “everything” to his program.
From 1999-2003, Boyden was a member of all the successes Felton experienced at Western.
Now, Felton hopes his relationship with Boyden produces more wins on the basketball court.
The new University of Georgia coach hired Boyden as his director of basketball operations, stealing him from Darrin Horn’s freshly assembled coaching staff.
Boyden and Felton could not be reached for comment.
Boyden was just a graduate assistant at Western, and Felton was able to offer him a full-time job that will pay him a salary instead of a scholarship.
He never coached a game for the Sun Belt Conference champions, but is now working in the Southeastern Conference.
“To have a paid position in the SEC at his age is is a big deal,” Horn said.
Horn said he thought Boyden was hired a week ago today.
While hiring someone straight out of college to work at a SEC school seems unusual, Boyden’s demeanor and maturity are why hiring him makes sense.
“He is certainly a guy that fosters team because he cares about everybody as much or more than he cares about himself,” Felton said last March.
As the director of basketball operations, Boyden will not have a chance to do much coaching, but it is definitely a promotion.
Western fifth-year senior Mike Wells was a teammate of Boyden’s for all four of his seasons.
“It’s a big opportunity for him and I’m happy for him,” Wells said. “It did surprise me at first, but he’s got a good relationship with Coach Felton.”
It is mandated by the NCAA that the director of operations cannot be on the floor coaching.
Boyden is the second member of Horn’s staff who has moved to another job before ever coaching a game in Bowling Green.
Assistant coach Sean Doherty left Western when he was hired as the head coach at Salem State in Massachusetts.
“Coaches can be judged by how many head coaches they produce,” Horn said. “In six months, we’ve already had one.
Horn is in the process of hiring another assistant but said it won’t necessarily happen before the Hilltoppers’ first game.
There may be two fewer coaches on the floor than planned, but Horn isn’t thinking about that right now.
“My big thing is our train is moving forward,” Horn said.
Reach Danny Schoenbaechler at [email protected]