A lifelong general: HBS’ Boyd credits players for successPublished 12:44pm Wednesday, February 6, 2013
By Ed Bailey
The love that Horseshoe Bend School has for Mike Boyd isn’t hard to see. Take a walk into his office and you’d find a bulletin board plastered with well-wishes from his players.
But what many people don’t know, is the amount of appreciation he has for the athletes he has coached, past and present.
As a coach, Boyd has spent nearly four decades roaming the sidelines. A New Site native through and through, he has been the one constant in Horseshoe Bend athletics during the school’s 20-year existence.
Boyd said he knew from a very young age that sports would become a big part of his life.
“I can remember back in the second grade when I walked out to the playground during recess,” Boyd said. “We were playing baseball. My second grade teacher Ms. Lattimer threw me that ball and I hit it. I was sold on athletics from then on. I just loved to play ball.”
Boyd would go on to pick up any sport he could find. He said he found favor with basketball, thanks to his high school coach.
He ended up playing the sport from the seventh grade until his graduation.
From there, he played in junior college and following his time at Auburn University, he entered the coaching ranks, landing his first job in Douglas Ga. coaching basketball and football.
Boyd eventually returned to his roots to coach at the now-defunct New Site School before it was consolidated with HBS.
Boyd said the locals helped smooth the transition.
“It’s made it easier for me because most of the time, I knew the kids’ parents,” he said.
Moreover, Boyd said that the athletes he’s been able to coach have impacted him immeasurably.
“These kids are special because they play so hard,” he said. “We may not have won the lion’s share of our games in the past but there are very few times that I’ve had to get on them because they didn’t practice or play hard.”
Boyd-coached teams have done their share of winning, though.
In his 38-year coaching career, Boyd has amassed 671 victories. Under his guidance, his teams have collected numerous area and regional championships as well as several tournament berths.
This success and Boyd’s presence in the community led to Horseshoe Bend renaming the Generals’ home court the Thomas Michael Boyd gymnasium.
Boyd said he was humbled by the honor, but added that the gesture would be hollow if not for his players.
“I like to win and I like to work at winning but one of the most special things about coaching here is being out and about and seeing the kids,” he said. The naming of the gym wouldn’t mean a whole lot if it hadn’t been for the kids who played for me. They gave me their best effort and represented this school with a lot of class.”