Former Basketball: Brad Boyd takes over as Opelousas High School coach
Kevin Foote, The Advertiser, May 28, 2015
When former St. Thomas More and UL sharpshooter Brad Boyd came to Opelousas High prior to last season, there were thoughts and plans about perhaps one day becoming the Tigers’ head boys basketball coach.
After all, coach Jamie Rollins had been the program’s head man for 16 years and wasn’t planning on being there for another 16, so he gave Boyd the opportunity to join his staff with upward mobility down the road in the back of their minds.
Things began to change in early April, though, when former Eunice High assistant coach Dwight Collins was hired as the new head football coach and athletic director at OHS.
A month later, Rollins was informed that he wouldn’t be returning as the OHS basketball coach. Boyd said at the time, he was informed that he’d be staying on as an assistant, however.
On Wednesday, however, that status was upgraded to head boys basketball coach. As unexpected as the news was to Boyd, it was certainly cause for celebration.
"I’m super excited about this opportunity," said the 33-year-old Boyd, who is from Opelousas and actually began his high school playing career at Acadiana Prep before transferring to St. Thomas More in Lafayette.
"I personally believe that Class 4A basketball is the best league in the state. I realize that not a lot of guys my age get an opportunity like this at this level. I take it as a real blessing, but I also feel like I’m ready for it."
Boyd said he was perfectly content with being an assistant coach for the foreseeable future.
"When he (Collins) informed me that I was going to be kept on as an assistant coach, I was totally on board with that," Boyd said. "I want to help the kids here. This is where I’m from. That’s what this is all about."
Prior to being an assistant coach at OHS last year, Boyd served as the head girls coach at Ascension Episcopal in Youngsville for two years and before that was a graduate assistant coach at UL under former OHS boys coach Robert Lee.
As a player, Boyd was a two-time All-State performer at St. Thomas More and then played at UL from 2000-04 and was a two-time All-Sun Belt Conference player.
"I understand that 4A boys basketball is totally different than 1A girls basketball," Boyd said. "But I played 4A ball at St. Thomas More. I know what it’s like. It’s not going to be a shock to me."
Boyd said he expects a smooth transition. For starters, Rollins allowed Boyd to install some of his offensive sets last season. Boyd said that played a role in the team’s 2-9 start, but once the players picked it up, the Tigers finished the season on a 14-4 run.
"We’re going to run a five-man motion next year,," Boyd said. "We’re going to be up tempo, but we’re going to hold the ball when we need to at the end of games. We’re going to run a little flex as well. I think that can be very effective."
Also, Boyd said he’s already scheduled for next season and the summer season has already been established. The biggest difference, he said, will be a greater emphasis on weightroom training this summer.
"Beau Chene beat us three times this year," Boyd said. "They had some football-type guys out there and they were more physical than us. We’ve got to get stronger."
The other major priority will be the get all the players academically eligible.
"I think that’s the big key," Boyd said. "We never played with our entire starting five last year. I don’t want to be held hostage because kids aren’t eligible to play. We’ve got to stress how important academics are to the kids."
Boyd said the Tigers will be young next season with only three of their top eight players returning, but that "the sixth, seventh and eighth graders are loaded with talent, so the future really looks bright."
The Tigers will be moving to a new district next season, playing the likes of Beau Chene, Carencro, Northside, Teurlings Catholic and St. Thomas More, as opposed to Washington-Marion, Crowley, Rayne, Eunice and LaGrange.
"I love the new district," Boyd said. "It gives me the opportunity to coach against the man (STM coach Danny Broussard) who taught me over half of what I know about the game, from teaching me scenarios and what to expect in a game. I think those two games are going to be two of the most fun games for me all season.
"But also, I think it’s going to help us at the gate. I think there are going to be more packed houses playing against these schools."