photo courtesy Fayetteville Observer
Bill Boyette has been the head men’s basketball coach at Terry Sanford High School in Fayetteville since 2005 and has guided his team to seven regular season conference championships and a 227-67 record entering this season. That includes two North Carolina High School Athletic Association runner-up finishes and a 2015 state championship.
Prior to coming to Terry Sanford, he has coached at Fayetteville Pine Forest, Wilmington Hoggard and Cary, where his team won a 1995 NCHSAA state title.
Bill grew up in Raleigh and attended Sanderson High School, and then went on to play junior college basketball at Louisburg. He transferred to the University of North Carolina where he played on the junior varsity team for coach Roy Williams.
Bill is also involved in sports media, doing interview shows and high school football games for DK Sports in Fayetteville.
What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in high school athletics during your career?
The biggest change for me, and one that I truly regret, is the fact that the majority of recruiting is done through the AAU programs. As a high school coach, I have interactions with my players every day, and know what is taking place in their daily lives. I see them grow as young men, as students, and as athletes every day! This is NOT the case with AAU. I strongly feel the majority of the recruiting process should involve the high school coach!
Another big change I have seen are the number of student-athletes moving to play at different schools, many of these being private schools. Many athletes are doing this just so that they can reclassify, and hope to improve their recruiting potential! I realize that this is part of today’s society, however I am a firm believer in playing for your “ home” high school.
What is your best memory of high school athletics personally, from your own involvement in them? You have coached some terrific basketball teams during your career.
My fondest memories are the joy of seeing my players win a North Carolina High School Athletic Association state championship! Seeing them realize that all of their hard work, dedication, and commitment to excellence led to their success. I am a big believer in the TEAM concept, and the memories you build with your TEAMMATES are lifetime memories!
Also, the memories of the relationships built with my players. Many of my former players have gone on to be basketball coaches, something that makes me very proud! I still have contact with many of my former players, and it is a real joy for me to see the fine young men they have become, and to share in their success!
What do you believe are the keys to success for teams you have coached? Has that changed any over the years as the game has evolved and circumstances for coaches, such as the proliferation of AAU and travel teams, etc., have changed?
I believe one big key is getting your players to buy into your philosophy as a coach. Personally, I am very defensive oriented on the basketball court, and it is not always easy to get high school basketball players to buy into that concept. I am very fortunate to have coached teams that have really bought in, and take a great deal of pride in what we do individually, and as a TEAM on the defensive end of the court!
I also believe that you must let your players know that you truly care about them, whether they are your best player or your 15th man .You must treat all players the same, showing fairness and loyalty!! I believe if you accomplish this, that you are truly building the very important TEAM concept. In my program it is always about “WE.”
I have NOT changed my philosophy since the day that I coached my first game. I do believe it can be more challenging today, with the popularity of AAU and travel teams. I think sometimes some of the players on these AAU and travel teams are more concerned about “ME,” more than they are about “WE.” I believe this can lead to a selfish attitude, and therefore have a negative impact on their high school teams. Some athletes are so influenced by their AAU experience, that they leave their home school and go elsewhere to play.
In your limited spare time, what are some of the activities you are involved in away from athletics?
I currently have two children that attend Terry Sanford High School. My daughter is a sophomore and plays on the varsity volleyball team. My son is a junior, and a participant in three sports, including soccer, basketball, and baseball. Their schedules keep me quite busy attending every game that I possibly can.
I also am heavily involved with DK Sports Radio. Every Wednesday evening I interview all ten Cumberland County football coaches, getting their thoughts on the previous week’s games, as well as getting a preview of the current week’s game. This show is aired every Friday evening before the radio broadcast of the Cumberland County Game of the Week. Also for DK Sports, I broadcast every Terry Sanford football game during the season on Friday nights.
I am very involved with my church, and look forward to attending each week.
I love to play golf in my spare time, and always enjoy just being with my wonderful family, and I love the beach, my favorite place for my wife and I to just get away and relax!