Years ago, when a newly hired Tad Boyle opted to retain James Hardy as the basketball program's strength and conditioning coach, much of the coach's confidence was shaped by the chemistry Hardy had already developed with the Colorado players.

After making four NCAA Tournament appearances in five seasons, Boyle apparently remains a big believer in that approach.

Despite sorting through resumes that filtered in from across the country, Boyle opted to stay close to home in the search for Hardy's replacement, naming Steve Englehart to the position.

Englehart has spent the past five years as an assistant director of sports performance with the football program while also working with CU's tennis, soccer, and women's golf programs.

Englehart (Courtesy photo / University of Colorado)

Englehart already has spent the past month working putting the basketball players through their first round of offseason workouts on an interim basis after Hardy left for a job with the New England Patriots.

"After getting to know the guys and working with them and getting to spend time with them, man, they are a close unit," Englehart said. "That's a special thing. When they say family, they really mean it. It's a close bunch of young men, and I like seeing that in a team. That's what I see right now."

The 34-year old Englehart graduated from Southeast Louisiana and later earned a master's in rehabilitation science and kinesiology at Hawaii, where he also worked as a strength coach. He enjoyed stops at Portland State and SMU before landing in Boulder in April, 2011.


"I've always loved basketball and I love working with basketball players," Englehart said. "It's definitely one of my first loves. It's great to be here in Colorado doing my dream sport.

"That positive atmosphere, that's what I want to bring — bigger, stronger, faster. The coaches are doing a great job with this team, and I'm just here to add on. Whatever they need from me, I'm going to do."

Pat Rooney: or