Offensive line coach Bill O’Boyle eager for challenge with CU Buffs – The Denver Post

Bill O’Boyle grew up playing football in the 1970s and 1980s and he’s been in coaching for more than 35 years.

With that long history in the game, Colorado’s new offensive line coach appreciates the old school nature to Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders.

“Not saying I’m an old timer, but just being around the guys that coached me that I’ve been with, I love the discipline part of (Sanders’ program),” O’Boyle, 59, said. “That’s a big deal to me.”

While there’s a lot of “old school” to O’Boyle, however, he’s bringing a fresh approach to the Buffaloes’ offensive line.

During Sanders’ first offseason in Boulder, the Buffs have revamped not only the personnel in the trenches, but the overall approach in how they’ll play. In the scheme led by coordinator Sean Lewis, linemen can’t just be big, strong dudes who push a pile.

“We pretty much changed all of how we look at an offensive linemen out of high school, and what we’re looking at,” O’Boyle said. “Of course, now with the junior colleges and the (transfer) portal, the biggest thing I look at is how athletic they are. And I’m not just saying this as a recruiting point, but the offense we run, for an offensive lineman it’s a blast.

“I mean, you’re pulling, you’re moving. You’re not just moving from here to the end of the desk. You have to be athletic, you have to be able to play in space, change direction and it’s exciting.”

O’Boyle spent the past five seasons in this offense, as the offensive line coach at Kent State, where Lewis was the head coach. When Lewis got the opportunity to come to Boulder as the coordinator, O’Boyle didn’t think twice about following him.

“It didn’t matter where he went; I was going with him,” O’Boyle said.

A native of Des Moines, Iowa, and a graduate of Western Illinois, O’Boyle has spent most of his life in the Midwest. His coaching career has included 21 seasons at Chadron State, including seven (2005-11) as head coach. He’s also coached at Western Illinois, Southern Illinois and South Dakota.

“Basically, I grew up in Division II,” he said. “I miss Division II, to be honest with you. I miss the relationships, I miss the staff we had, I miss the players.”

He also developed a do-it-all mentality in Division II, doing everything from coaching to laundry to painting the field.

“You do it all. I love that stuff,” he said. “I’d still do it now, if I could. I’m not painting here, but I’m doing as much as I can.”

O’Boyle has too much on his plate with the Buffs to worry about painting fields.

The Buffs return three starters from the offensive line — left tackle Gerald Christian-Lichtenhan, center Van Wells and right tackle Jake Wiley — but it’s an offense that has been one of the worst in the country the past two years.

This offseason, CU has added a great deal of experience up front, including bringing tackle Savion Washington from Kent State. Landon Bebee (Missouri State), Tyler Brown (Jackson State), Isaiah Jatta (Snow College) and Jack Wilty (Iowa Central Community College) were also added as transfers after starting at their previous stops.

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CU is loaded with experience, but O’Boyle will be tasked with meshing the group together.

“There’s a lot of work to do,” O’Boyle said. “We’ve got a lot of ground to make up, strength wise. The physical part really has to come along and that’s something that jumped out right off the bat. And that’s going to happen.”

Along with that is getting the group to understand the new approach and making sure they’re prepared to play a lot of plays on game day and in practice.

“Just getting that attitude where get yourself ready,” he said. “It’s coming. You hope they believe you. I think right now, the kids are doing a great job in the weight room. They’re doing a great job with the little time we get with them throughout the week and that’s why I said before I cannot wait until spring ball.”

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