Bill Boyle is the assistant men’s soccer coach at Colgate University and joined the Raiders in March of 2011. In his first season with Colgate, he helped coach the team to its fifth Patriot League tournament title and NCAA appearance with an 11-5-6 overall record. After narrowly missing out on a regular-season title, the team was able to advance to the championship game as the No. 2 seed on penalty kicks and eventually defeat host, and No. 1 seed, American, to secure the title. The Raiders had five players named to the All-Patriot League Teams as well as the Patriot League Offensive Player and Rookie of the Year. Three players were selected to the NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic Teams and one was an ECAC All-Star Second Team Selection.
Bill was good enough to sit down with Winthrop’s managing editor, Ryan Matthews, to discuss cooperative coaching and recruiting, in addition to the success he and Colgate have had on the on the field.
Follow Win AD‘s Coach Twitter channel – Helping NCAA coaches stay at the top of their game.
What advice would you give to a talented young person interested in coaching that you wish someone had given you before you started coaching?
I would give a talented young person this advice. You may scrape by at times financially, and work like a dog every day of the week. It could cost you relationships, until you find a way to find balance work and life. It may consume you, and your time. You must accept that the financial side is not a reward. The reward is that you have a job that you love waking up for every day. If you have other motivation, don’t do it.
How would you describe your coaching philosophy in a sentence?
My philosophy as a coach is to continually learn, and adapt to the game as well as my players. I am a very different coach than I was at 25…I think I’ve changed in the 12 years I’ve been at it. I want to continue to grow. However, in general, my approach is cooperative, but intense at times as well. I come from the authoritative days, and have adapted into a more cooperative coach, working with my players, not against them.
What has been the most critical decision you’ve been responsible for?
Critical decisions for me have come down to letting players go. It’s always a tough decision, but necessary for the team at times. Taking over programs especially, and telling players they are done—when they’ve been playing soccer for their whole life—is tough.
How has more information/data helped achieve strategic goals and helped you in your role as a coach?
Statistics really have been playing more, and more of a role in our game every year. As we look at game analysis we can really evaluate our players in such areas as passing percentage and turnovers. Looking at what players are doing, as well as what opponents do with statistics, has really helped me as a coach make players understand their role better. These metrics have resulted in meeting goals during the season individually, and as a team. In addition, we can show how our team has produced over time, when certain statistics are at optimal levels, and this information helps our team buy into those principles and philosophy.
What is the aspect of your work that you’re most proud of?
The aspect of my work I am most proud of is recruiting. I feel that it’s a strength of mine, and I’ve realized I may be a better recruiter than a coach. This realization was hard to swallow, until I recognized that college athletics may be more about recruiting, than coaching. Your players make you look good, but more importantly, those relationships I have built with players mean so much more in the big picture. Having one of my players I coached when he was 15, and who played for me in college, at my wedding this summer was as great as any victory.