Count Tad Boyle among those who believe recently-signed legislature ultimately will be a boon to Colorado athletics.

The leader of the men's basketball program generally has enjoyed stability on his coaching staff throughout his seven-season tenure, yet Boyle is confident Senate bill 17-041 — signed early last week by Governor John Hickenlooper that erases caps on multi-year contract within state athletic departments — nonetheless will benefit his team as well as the entire athletic department.

"Much needed. I'm so thankful that it passed," Boyle said. "We operate in a marketplace in college athletics, and for us to have that now is going to help us recruit and, probably more importantly, retain good assistant coaches. That's critical for our program, for every program."

Previously all state schools were allowed only six multi-year contracts per campus. CU's six multi-year contracts currently are held by Boyle, athletic director Rick George, football head coach Mike MacIntyre, football defensive coordinator DJ Eliot, women's basketball coach JR Payne, and volleyball coach Jesse Mahoney.

Two of Boyle's assistants, Mike Rohn and Jean Prioleau, have remained on CU's staff throughout Boyle's tenure while working as at-will employees. The new legislation takes effect Aug. 9, though Boyle remains uncertain what sort of structure any long-term contracts for his assistants might look like.

"That's something Rick George and I will sit down and talk about probably later on this spring," Boyle said.


Beyond any head coaching opportunities that might arise, as was the case last year when former CU assistant Rodney Billups left Boulder to take the lead job at the University of Denver, Boyle said he does not expect changes to his staff. Bill Grier, once the head coach at the University of San Diego, arrived only last year as Billups' replacement.

"I expect it to stay intact but you never know until you get through this coaching carousel," Boyle said. "I know Mike Rohn and Jean Prioleau are ready and would like to be head coaches, and if opportunities come their way I'm not going to stand in the way. Like coach Billups had that opportunity.

"You never know. You're prepared in case they do get an opportunity, you're ready to move. If they don't, I expect it to stay intact."

Pat Rooney: or