Tad Boyle walks the walk and talks the talk in front of athletes, coaches, community at fourth annual Tribune Best Preps banquet | MyWindsorNow.com

Tad Boyle walks the walk and talks the talk in front of athletes, coaches, community at fourth annual Tribune Best Preps banquet

Bobby Fernandez | bfernandez@greeleytrib.com

Tad Boyle is a self-described "quote guy".

But a little more than 40 years ago, he was doing much more walking than talking.

To a packed house of about 500 last week at the University of Northern Colorado ballroom, Boyle recalled a childhood memory of when he committed a late error that cost his little league baseball team a game.

His dad, Tom, made Tad walk by himself all the way home that afternoon.

Although Tad couldn't fully appreciate the lesson his father was imparting at the time, some four decades later, the message is clear. Just like his message was clear Wednesday at the UNC ballroom as the keynote speaker during the fourth annual Greeley Tribune Best Preps Banquet.

Boyle spoke of handling success, following your dreams, maintaining a competitive attitude and, of course, assuming accountability — the quality his father was trying to instill in him years ago by making him take that long walk of shame.

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It was a harsh lesson at the time. But to this day, "I thank him for it," Boyle said.

Boyle, the University of Colorado men's basketball coach and former Northern Colorado men's hoops coach, is a hometown boy, a Greeley Central High School alum. His orange tie Wednesday and occasional shout-out to his alma mater might have displayed an ever-so-slight favoritism, but his words of wisdom and noteworthy quotes radiated across all 18 Weld County schools and all 21 sports that were represented at the banquet.

After playing basketball for coach Larry Brown at the University of Kansas, Boyle briefly worked for an oil company in Texas, a job he strongly disliked.

He came back to Greeley, worked for an investment company and got his first taste of coaching as a junior varsity coach for his longtime crosstown rival Greeley West. And, a near-fatal car crash made him realize he needed to stop wasting time and do what he loved.

"I said, this is what I'm destined to do," he told the crowd.

Fast forward three decades later, he's a nationally recognized coach who remains well-aware of where he came from. He won a state championship with Greeley Central in 1981, and he still knows who to relate to the champions, standout athletes and supportive community members that filled the UNC ballroom Wednesday.

Best Preps banquet

Here’s a breakdown of the awards handed out during the Best Preps banquet:

Fall Athletes of the Season

» Football — Mitch Watson, sr. OL/DL, Windsor

» Softball — Brynn Millett, sr. 2B, Eaton

» Volleyball — Brooke Schilling, sr. MH, Valley

» Boys tennis — Connor Clancy, sr., No. 1 singles, Greeley Central

» Boys soccer — Karlo Terrazas, sr. GK, Greeley Central

» Boys cross country — Cale Englert, sr., Windsor

» Girls cross country — Hannah Ellis, jr., Frontier Academy

» Boys golf — Cole Krantz, sr., Windsor

» Cheer — Olivia McLung and Samantha Hora, University

Winter Athletes of the Season

» Boys basketball — Oscar Maldonado, sr. F, Northridge

» Girls basketball — Michaela Moran, jr. G/F, Windsor

» Girls swimming and diving — Rylee Daniels, jr., Eaton

» Wrestling — Jody Sandoval II, sr. 126 lbs, Fort Lupton

Spring Athletes of the Season

» Baseball — Jake Sandau, jr. OF, Eaton

» Girls soccer — Margaret Zimmerman, sr. F, Windsor

» Boys track and field — Caleb Urwiller, sr., Dayspring Christian

» Girls track track and field — Jerica Baeza, sr., Roosevelt

» Girls tennis — Myiah Scott, sr. No. 1 singles, Eaton

» Boys swimming — Jackson Wuthrich, soph., Greeley West

» Girls golf — Jessica Zapf, Windsor

» Boys lacrosse — Jacob Hardy, sr. D, Windsor

Tribune Tradition Awards

» Boys Athlete of the Fall — Darren Delacroix, football, sr. RB/LB, Greeley West

» Girls Athlete of the Fall — Katie Kurz, volleyball, jr. OH, Dayspring Christian

» Boys Athlete of the Winter — Chris Sandoval, wrestling, sr. 138 lbs, Windsor

» Girls Athlete of the Winter — Morgan Friesen, swimming, sr., Windsor

» Boys Athlete of the Spring — Shawn Chacon, baseball, sr. OF, Valley

» Girls Athlete of the Spring — Remington Ross, track and field, fr., Highland

» Boys Athlete of the Year — Jonathan Cowles, football/basketball/baseball, sr., Dayspring Christian

» Girls Athlete of the Year — Tarynn Sieg, volleyball/track and field, sr., Eaton

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