After serving in the NBA for 13 seasons, Jim Boylen is in his second season as an assistant coach at Michigan State. This is Boylen's second stint on the Spartan staff, as he originally served as an assistant for Jud Heathcote from 1987-92.
After leaving Michigan State in 1992, Boylen joined the NBA's Houston Rockets as a video coordinator. In 1994, he was promoted to assistant coach. During his 11-year stint in Houston, the Rockets won back-to-back NBA Championships (1994 & 1995) and advanced to the Western Conference Finals in 1997. In 11 years, the Rockets had just two losing seasons and made seven playoff appearances. Individually, he had the opportunity to work with four of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players - Charles Barkley, Clyde Drexler, Hakeem Olajuwon and Scottie Pippen, while working under one of the greatest coaches in NBA history, Rudy Tomjanovich. As an assistant, his duties included skill development, working on game and practice preparation, teaching perimeter players the Rockets' system, as well as positioning and shooting. He was also in charge of team and opponent analysis. In 2003-04, he served as an assistant at Golden State, coaching former Michigan State All-American Jason Richardson. In 2004-05, Boylen was an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks.
"Jim Boylen adds many different dimensions to our coaching staff," said MSU head coach Tom Izzo at the time of Boylen's hiring. "Having first served under Jud Heathcote, he has a familiarity with Michigan State and a loyalty to the program, while appreciating its tradition. He played a role in putting together some of the recruiting classes that started the resurgence of Michigan State basketball that played out in a Big Ten Championship and NCAA Tournament teams.
"Additionally, Jim brings 13 years of NBA experience where he had the opportunity to work with some of the greatest players of all time, while also experiencing winning at the highest level, helping guide the Houston Rockets to back-to-back NBA Championships, working under a great coach in Rudy Tomjanovich. This will be a great asset to our program as he knows what it takes to get to the NBA and what is required of a player once he is in the league. He will be able to help present and future Spartans realize their dream of one day playing in the NBA."
A native of East Grand Rapids, Mich., Boylen joined the Michigan State staff directly out of college, serving as a graduate assistant from 1987-89. After two years, he was promoted to a full-time assistant, where he served for the next three seasons. As an assistant with the Spartans, he handled scouting, recruiting and game preparation while acting as the computer video coordinator. During his time at MSU, the Spartans won the Big Ten title in 1990 and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament that same year. Michigan State also advanced to the NCAA Tournament Second Round in 1991 and 1992.
Boylen received his bachelor's degree in business from Maine in 1987. While at Maine, he captained the basketball team as a junior and senior, earning First-Team All-North Atlantic Conference honors as a senior, averaging 21 points per game. He finished second in the conference Player of the Year voting to Northeastern's Reggie Lewis. That same year, he scored 19 points and registered eight assists as Maine upset Michigan State, 84-81.
Boylen and his wife, Christine, live in East Lansing with their daughter, Ashlen Clare. They are expecting a second daughter, Layla Blu in October.
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