Jack Boyle was only 11 years old when his father was named the head men’s basketball coach at the University of Colorado.
The younger Boyle was able to ride shotgun during the greatest extended run in CU history, with the Buffs reaching an NIT Final Four and four NCAA Tournaments during coach Tad Boyle’s first six seasons.
Along the way, Jack embarked on his own playing career at Boulder High. It can be difficult growing up with a parent in the public eye, and often doubly so when the father is so decorated in the very same profession in which the son attempts to make his own name.
Every so often, Jack would hear the “Who’s your daddy?” taunts during tough moments for Boulder against local rivals like Fairview and Monarch. Yet on the other hand as a youngster he also took advantage of getting to test his fledgling skills against future NBA players like Alec Burks, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Andre Roberson.
Jack’s basketball journey led him to a Division III career at Pomona-Pitzer. Now a 21-year old senior, his career will come full circle in many ways Saturday afternoon, when Tad Boyle’s Colorado Buffaloes hosts Jack Boyle’s Pomona-Pitzer squad in a preseason exhibition game at 1 p.m. at the CU Events Center.
“It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long,” Jack Boyle said. “Looking back, it kind of has just flown. I’ve grown up around the program and have been there for a lot of teams and a lot of games at the (CU) Events Center. I’ve been in the stands for a lot of memorable moments. But now I get to compete on that floor and share the court with him. It’s going to be really special for me.”
Pomona-Pitzer is coming off a school-record 26-win season, and Jack got to do something last season his father hasn’t done since 2016 by playing in the NCAA Tournament, where Pomona-Pitzer lost in the second round.
Due to Tad Boyle’s hectic schedule, he doesn’t often get to see Jack play in person. Occasionally during the Buffs’ almost-annual Los Angeles trip, and sometimes during the one-game weeks against Utah that allows CU’s coach at least one night for a quick trip. Other than that, however, it’s live streams and phone calls.
“It’s going to be great for him to have a front row seat,” said Jack, who played at the Events Center a few times in high school in the Boulder-Fairview rivalry showdowns. “After every game I’ve had the last three years we talk. A lot of the time our games are on the same nights. All our games are streamed online, so he watches a lot of them online. But there’s a lot of time he doesn’t because he has a game, too. We always talk afterward about how my team is doing, how his team is doing. It will be cool this time for both of our teams to be in the same place at the same time and get that whole experience. It’s going to be a lot of fun, I think.”
For the Buffs, Saturday’s exhibition will be the final live-action tune-up before departing on Nov. 2 for China, where CU will take on Arizona State in the season opener on Nov. 8. The Buffs also will play an exhibition contest overseas, meaning Tad Boyle’s preferred preseason challenge of a closed scrimmage will not happen this year.
“One thing we know about Pomona-Pitzer, if you leave those guys open, they’re going to make shots. They can really shoot the ball from the perimeter,” Tad Boyle said. “It will be a good test for us in certain aspects. Obviously they’re not going to have the size or the physicality, but you’re not going to get that in an exhibition game no matter who you play. But I’m excited for Jack to have a chance to come back and play in Boulder and play in front of friends and family.”
A free live stream of the exhibition match will be available via Pac-12.com/live/cubuffs. CU Buffs basketball radio voices Mark Johnson and Scott Wilke will be on the call.