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Coach Kevin Boyle

By Kaitlyn Fedor

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Kevin Boyle is a 56-year old high school basketball coach from Clark, New Jersey. The legendary head coach is also the Director of the 40,000-square foot, $6 million athletic center known as the Montverde Academy Center for Basketball Development. He is considered by many coaches as one of the best teachers of the game both on and off the court. In just over three seasons, Boyle has led the Eagles to a 84-6 record, a 41 win streak, while coaching the team to an undefeated season and back-to-back national championships.  He has accomplished that while shaping his image, his program, and his career, as utmost credible and respected. In just his first season at Montverde Academy, Boyle’s school was ranked 12th nationally by ESPN and reached the finals of the ESPN National Boy’s High School Championship, which was nationally televised on ESPN. “Kids want to be in the big show,” Boyle says. “We’ve been on ESPN 17 times in the last three years. That type of exposure, it’s just a snowball effect that more and more people want to be part of.”  

Before he came to Montverde, Boyle coached St. Patrick High School in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and has led that team to five state Tournament of Champions titles. “One of things that we were able to develop at St. Pat’s was great energy, effort, intensity,” Boyle says. “When I got here, they just didn’t play hard. It took a while to get them to learn how to get after it. Now, it’s starting to become a culture here.” Boyle really wants to be known as the Duke of high school basketball. He also worked for Nike, running camps around the world for the Swoosh. He coordinated clinics and camps in China, Russia, Italy, Greece, Germany, Brazil and the United Arab Emirates. 

Boyle’s team was ranked No. 1 nationally and was unbeaten for the entire season before losing in the unofficial national championship game to Bob Hurley’s St. Anthony team, 62-45. Coach Boyle and Coach Hurley were archrivals, often battling with each other. Now, only Hurley remains, while Boyle departs for another high-profile high school job. “It seemed like a great deal to turn something like that down,” Hurley said of Boyle. Asked if he would miss playing against Boyle’s teams, Hurley added: “I don’t know that I’m going to miss playing against teams as good as that. I hope the teams aren’t that good.” 

Widely recognized nationally as one of the premier High School Basketball Coaches in the United States, Coach Boyle is famous for producing some of the best young NBA superstars in the league today. He had a pleasure of coaching players such as Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons, D’Angleo Russell, Joel Embiid, Michael Kidd Gilchrest, and R.J. Barrett among others. Interestingly enough, each one of these players that coach Boyle has had experience with, ended up being a top 3 NBA draft pick. "He's had that credibility all along," Russell said of Boyle. "And guys keep gravitating toward that Montverde program.” It is safe to say that Coach Boyle has certainly made a mark in developing these NBA superstars at a young age, setting a tone for their future.

When Joel Embiid came to Montverde Academy to play for Coach Boyle, he was so raw that he didn’t even make the varsity team. Even though Embiid spent only one season under Coach Boyle, he played for the JV team. When the other Montverde players gave Embiid a hard time for not being so good, Boyle fired back saying: "You guys need to really understand how good this kid is. Someday you'll all be asking him for a loan." It’s safe to say that Coach Boyle was right - Joel Embiid became one of the best rising NBA stars, making millions.  

Similarly to Embiid, Boyle has helped R.J. Berrett and D’Angelo Russell to grow and develop into better players by working them hard. When Ohio State coaching staff came to see Russell practice, Boyle ripped him in front of everybody; he was yelling at Russell saying he was soft and couldn't play at the next level. In that moment, Russell said he was ready to quit, but it turned out it was just fuel that Coach Boyle put in his engine.  

Barrett, who was in a similar position as Embiid was when he came to Montverde, was yet to prove himself to coach Boyle. However, RJ’s father was committed to sending him to this school even though the team was already stacked at the time. Coach Boyle told Barrett that he can play for the team if he accepts the role as the 15th man. Barrett was skeptic, but had soon proven himself as a great potential and was moved to the varsity team. Boyle was determined to get after Barrett in practice to get the best of him and to motivate him. He had even stopped a practice once five minutes in, yelling at R.J and ripping him off in front of everybody. "He's definitely helping me grow as a leader," Barrett said. "That's been the main focus for me this year. Just try to lead the team as best as I can."

Barrett is certainly not the last pro Boyle will coach. The next young prodigy of Coach Boyle who recently arrived at Montverde is Balsa Koprivica, a 7'1", 240-pound Serbian who played on the country's gold medal-winning team at the FIBA Europe Under-18 Championships last summer. "Yeah, he's going to be a pro," Boyle said with a smile. "He's just new to the team, and he's got to fit in.” Like Embiid and Barrett before him, he has to wait his turn. Unlike them, Koprivica is on the varsity squad but has played limited minutes.

Coach Boyle was named 2011 Naismith National Coach of the Year, 2009 ESPN/Rise Coach of the Year, and the 2007 USA Today Coach of the Year. Coach Boyle has a broad experience in youth basketball and was appointed the honor of the Head Coach for the USA Junior National team at the 2012 USA Nike Hoop Summit. He has also served as Head Coach for the Jordan Brand Classic on three different occasions where he has coached players such as LeBron James, Blake Griffin, and Derrick Rose.

During his coaching career, Coach Boyle has helped coach more 50 players to a Division-I scholarship and more another 15 on to the professional level including Hoop Group Skills alumni Kyrie Irving (#1 NBA pick 2011) and Michael Kidd Gilchrest (#2 NBA pick 2012). Boyle is the only high coach to produce the #1 and #2 NBA draft picks in consecutive years (2011, 2012).