The Odyssey of Jack Boyle

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Jack Boyle is a senior student athlete at the University of Dallas who continues to exemplify greatness on and off the court through his jersey number #00. Boyle recently shattered two records at the university, achieving over 780 rebounds and 131 blocks, even breaking 1,000 career points. Jack Boyle is a senior business major, and if you did not know him personally you would assume he has a relaxing schedule. However, this could not be further from the truth, as Boyle exudes calmness despite his intense and busy schedule.

Boyle explained, “I have a pretty busy schedule on the weekends. I usually have a game so I have to dedicate a lot of time to academics during the week.”

Boyle functions from the passion and ardor he submits to his life and basketball: He succeeds due to his unbending character and his will to win as a student and as an athlete.

For this reason, Boyle’s casual appearance appears paradoxical. What is it that changes on the basketball court and motivates him? The University of Dallas’ men’s basketball head coach, Matt Grahn, attempts to answer this puzzling question. Coach Grahn recounts his first meeting with Boyle when he was the assistant coach.

Grahn shared, “for his first workout, [Boyle wore] a polo shirt, cut off khakis and boat shoes with no socks. Coach Samples and I looked at each other like, ‘What is going on and what did we get?’ We had no idea what to expect. We definitely did not foresee a 1,000+ point scorer and record-breaking rebounder at that time.”

Boyle remains the same hardworking, humble and passionate person he always has been. He gave very simple advice to achieve the feats he has: “Spending a lot of time in the gym, and being close with your teammates,” Boyle said.

Despite all of these obstacles, Boyle has time and time again shown his dominance, namely as a center. The rebound record stood for 30 years by Brandon Hartsell, an economics alumnus from 1993, who had an astounding 779 rebounds in his career.

Boyle maintained, “Rebounding was the toughest [record] to break. The hustle of rebounding is a lot different in high school as it is a lot harder and more physical at the college level. Players are stronger and faster. I am an undersized center as everyone is 6 feet 8 inches tall and up. A lot of my points come in dump-offs and boards, and a lot of it comes from me getting the ball in the post.”

Coach Grahn values Boyle’s unique playstyle: “I can honestly say that in 30 years of doing this, [Boyle] is one of a kind. He’s a tough cover for opposing defenses. He is slippery when trying to box out and has a nose for the ball. He is trying to get the ball and put it in the basket come hell or high water.”

Boyle’s resolve elevates his game, allowing him to dominate slower centers that are not able to keep up with his pace or tenacity.

These great feats have been highly recognized by the entire basketball program, as they planned a tournament during the Thanksgiving break close to where Boyle grew up.

Boyle commented, “Coach Grahn tries to bring a senior home to play and it was special to play at home in front of my family in Arlington 30 minutes from where I grew up in Marymount…[That] tournament was a highlight of my sports career at UD.”

This fantastic opportunity is thanks to the connections and impeccable planning of Coach Grahn.

Coach Grahn explained, “Family is important to me so it is important to me to get our guys from outside of the conference footprint games where their family and friends back home get to see them play. We’d played in the Marymount Pablo Coto tournament years ago and I developed a friendship with Marymount’s head coach. I reached out to him explaining we had a guy from the DC/DMV area and it was a done deal within minutes. While we were there, [Boyle]’s family hosted a dinner for the entire team at their home. It was great for [Boyle] to spend time with his family, but it was also a joy to have him share his family with us.”

Jack Boyle and his mom at last year’s Groundhog celebration. Photo by Jack Boyle.

“As for the benefit to UD,” Coach Grahn said. “It is a selling point with recruiting that we have these experiences; out-of-state guys know I’ll work to get them home for games and all the incoming guys know they’re going to go on trips they normally wouldn’t take elsewhere.”

This tournament means a lot to Boyle, as it reinforced his close relationship with his coach and his teammates. Coach Grahn is still hopeful that Boyle will return for one final season from his added season of COVID-19 availability.

Coach Grahn claimed, “[My] ace in the hole is the fact that [Boyle]’s mom wants him to get his MBA”. Boyle stated, “I haven’t decided if I will return for basketball yet, but I do have one more year of eligibility.”

Boyle wanted to also give a special thank you to everyone who has always supported him during his basketball career.

Boyle also said, “[I want to thank] Louis ‘Lou’ Christifano Jr., Marcus Juarez and Jacob Giunta who graduated last year and helped me enjoy playing every day. [Giunta] was very strict with me and helped me gain a foundation for basketball.”.

“I would like to thank my parents for sending me here, my coaches for showing up every day and all my friends in Dallas who have always supported me,” Boyle said.

Boyle exudes priceless virtues through playing basketball: loyalty, patience and humility which all shine through his magnanimous character.

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