During his playing days at Colorado, former guard Nate Tomlinson provided the sort of heady floor generalship that head coach Tad Boyle always believed would serve Tomlinson well when the day came for him to turn his sights toward a potential coaching career.
That time apparently has arrived for Tomlinson, and his coaching journey will begin right back at the University of Colorado.
In a new twist to the setup of Boyle’s staff, Tomlinson will be rejoining the Buffs for the 2018-19 season as a coaching intern. It is a position that has not been utilized during Boyle’s previous eight seasons at the helm, and Tomlinson’s specific duties won’t be clarified until he begins his new job in mid-September. Yet when the Buffs open official preseason practices in early October, Tomlinson will be back in the mix seven years after his senior season in Boulder.
“A very high basketball IQ,” Boyle said. “He’s the son of a coach. He’s got coaching in his blood. I knew when his playing days were over with, he was going to be a coach. It was just a matter of where and when. So here we are. I told him when his playing days were over with to let me know and we’d help any way we can.
“The way the business is set up right now, it’s a hard business to break into. Football has graduate assistants. Basketball, some programs have them, some don’t. We haven’t. This is a situation where Nate, obviously he’s a Buff and part of our family. I’m excited because I’ve got such confidence in Nate and such respect for him.”
Tomlinson was one of the players Boyle inherited in 2010-11 from previous coach Jeff Bzdelik, and he was the primary point guard for the 2011-12 team that won the Pac-12 Conference tournament in the Buffs’ first year in the league. Overall, Tomlinson averaged 5.2 points and 3.1 assists in 129 games with the Buffs. His 405 career assists still is tied for sixth all-time at CU.
Tomlinson has completed his pro playing career in his native Australia and also was recently married.
“His professional basketball career is over, and so now it’s time for him to turn the page. He wants to coach, and he’d love to coach at the collegiate level,” Boyle said. “I want to do whatever I can do to help him in that regard. Basically, he’s going to be in the office helping where he can help. It’s a new, fresh set of eyes. A guy that comes in with a fresh slate that can help us in a lot of different areas.”