Oklahoma State fires men’s basketball coach Mike Boynton after seven seasons

The Associated Press - March 16, 2024 8:10 am

By CLIFF BRUNT AP Sports Writer

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma State fired men’s basketball coach Mike Boynton on Thursday.

Boynton had a 119-109 record in seven seasons at the school. The Cowboys went 12-20 this season and lost their opening game of the Big 12 Tournament to UCF on Tuesday.

“For seven years, Coach Boynton has led this program and represented this university with class,” Oklahoma State athletic director Chad Weiberg said in a statement on Thursday. “We’re grateful for the genuine passion and care he has for the student-athletes on our team. Unfortunately, the desired results have not followed. Therefore, it is time to part ways and begin a new chapter. We wish Coach Boynton and his family the very best.”

The Cowboys reached only one NCAA tournament under Boynton as he dealt with the fallout from an NCAA investigation. His teams often were gritty and defensive-minded, but struggled to score.

In 2020, an NCAA infractions committee gave the Cowboys a one-year postseason ban and other penalties after former assistant coach Lamont Evans accepted up to $22,000 so he could help steer athletes to certain financial advisers. Oklahoma State immediately fired Evans after he was arrested in 2017, and the school said it fully cooperated with the NCAA’s inquiry.

Oklahoma State played in the postseason in 2021 because the case was being appealed. The Cowboys, led by star freshman Cade Cunningham, reached the NCAA Tournament before being upset by Oregon State in the second round. Cunningham was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft.

Oklahoma State had a promising team heading into the 2021-22 season, but the school’s appeal of its postseason ban was denied. Boynton called the penalty unfair.

“There’s no wonder that nobody trusts them,” an emotional Boynton said of the NCAA at the time. “As they get to hide behind letters … And they don’t have to come do this — answer questions and talk to kids and talk to parents.”

The Cowboys finished with a 15-15 record that season, then went 20-16 last season.

A strong recruiting class gave the Cowboys hope that they could be competitive this season. The Cowboys showed promise by winning three of five during a stretch in February, but they closed the season by losing six straight.

 

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