Submitted by Kevin Grogan
Montverde Basketball Coach Kevin Boyle is widely recognized as the premier High School Basketball Coach in America. And this year was no different as Coach Boyle was named Naismith National Coach of the Year for the 2017/2018 season. Boyle represents the best in high school athletics, coaching the undefeated MVA Eagles to a perfect 31-0 regular season. Having strong leadership along with his charismatic personality, Kevin Boyle has a lasting positive impact on his players and the South Lake community alike. I traveled out to the Montverde campus to catch up with Coach Boyle.
TABLET: Naismith High School Basketball Coach of the Year for 2017/2018. I know you’re not an individual award type person. But what does this award mean to you and the MVA program?
Boyle: Obviously, if you get an individual award, you are happy to be recognized by the media or your peers. It’s nice. But the credit comes from having a great staff; having good assistant coaches with you and having very talented players as well. Again, I have to give a lot of credit to those coaches and the talent level we have at the school.
TABLET: You grew up in Jersey City, New Jersey. You attended Seton Hall and then moved on to St. Peters College. Who were some of your influences throughout your coaching career?
Boyle: First, My Dad. He coached me in grammar school basketball for years. When I went on to Seton Hall, Bill Rafferty was a huge influence before he went on to the television world. P.J. Carlesimo followed, and Whitie Duquet at St. Peters College. I had five different Division 1 coaches coach me in some capacity; as a head coach or an assistant coach. These five coaches helped me see how to handle business and players. I took a little knowledge from each one of those guys. When it came time to put my own thing together, these guys were the influences.
TABLET: Before your college playing career, describe your childhood?
Boyle: I was a gym rat. I lived in the basketball gym, loved basketball and loved to study basketball. Starting even back then, I collected tapes of different coaches. To this day, I still have well over 400 different tapes of many different coaches.
TABLET: What one attribute has made Kevin Boyle the successful coach that he is today?
Boyle: Detail; Paying attention to detail. Whether it be business, coaching, teaching; focus on the fundamentals and the details. If you have two basketball teams of equal ability; and one team has not focused on fundamentals, it will show. One team commits 13 turnovers, while the fundamentally sound detail-oriented team only gives away the ball 10 times. That’s the difference in the game right there!
TABLET: The Findley Prep game here at Montverde might have been the high school game of the year and probably a special moment for the program and the entire school. Were there any other breakthrough moments this season like that thrilling finish?
Boyle: We had an outstanding regular season finishing without a loss. That included traveling to China, Hawaii, West Virginia & New Jersey. I think playing as hard a schedule as we possibly could and traveling on the road for most of those games has produced our togetherness & mental toughness. The Mike Devos shot against Findley was huge; 3.2 million people watched the highlights of that game. But two weeks later, we were down six to Roosevelt Catholic with 20 seconds to go and pulled out that game in front of 3,000 fans cheering against us. Both games were incredibly exciting & dramatic with our guys simply finding a way to win at the end of these two storybook contests.
TABLET: Dr. Stephens and Headmaster Kesselring had a vision for Montverde Academy. What is it that makes this place so unique both in athletics and academia?
Boyle: When I got here, I didn’t know what a boarding school was like. It is a lifestyle more than a job. The staff, the administration, the coaches, the teachers are really vested; All of us love what we do. There is a passion for what every individual does here at Montverde Academy. And the school is incredibly fortunate to have Dr. Kesselring continue what Dr. Stephens started when he handed off the baton. I believe we are very fortunate that a college hasn’t come along and made Dr. Kesselring the Dean of their College His structure and organization are inspirational to me personally. Montverde is the premiere Prep Boarding School in America.
TABLET: What do you like most about Montverde & South Lake County?
Boyle: I love our campus here and the surrounding areas. Between the innovation, safety, academics, and diversity, you just can’t do much better than the beauty of this area we call home.
TABLET: Away from basketball, what does Coach Boyle enjoy?
Boyle: My wife Kelly & I both like to have a night out at Disney or Dr. Phillips. We enjoy those areas being so close to our home. It’s like having the best of both worlds. It’s an excellent place to just walk around and enjoy a nice night out.