Where are they now? with Jeff Boynton
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Where are they now? with Jeff Boynton

Jeff Boynton played soccer for the Lipscomb Bisons from 2004-2007. He graduated with a B.A. degree in History-Education with a minor in political science.

In 2008 he became the head coach for both the boy’s and girl’s soccer teams at Oakland High School in Murfreesboro, Tenn. He turned around two struggling programs and earned District Coach of the Year honors for his work with both teams.

His goal was to coach and teach at the high school level. He taught U.S. History last year and is teaching World Geography this year.

“When it came time to declare a major I decided on education,” said Boynton. “It worked out perfect for me.”

He lives in Murfreesboro. His parents are Jo and Rick Boynton, also Murfreesboro residents. His brother, Steve, attends Tennessee-Chattanooga.

Lipscomb coach Charles Morrow and assistant coach Kevin Burk was both were big influences on his athletic career.

“My freshman year we did not win a game,” said Boynton. “So when Charles and Kevin came in they changed the way that we looked at soccer. Charles always wanted more from us. He recruited very well. And I can’t say enough about Kevin. Even now, I will call Kevin if I have a problem as a coach. I learned how to play and how to act as a player. And then there were my roommates and teammates who also influenced me.”

His best athletic memories both involve Belmont.

“We played at Belmont my junior year and we beat them 2-0 and I scored a goal,” said Boynton. “And then my senior year we beat Belmont 1-0 in the conference tournament at Stetson. It was our first conference tournament appearance and our first conference win. And it was against Belmont.”

Boynton’s fondest non-athletic memory was graduation. He was proud that he was able to graduate in four years.

“I got out and got a job right out of school,” said Boynton.

Before he graduated Boynton learned the value of hard work.

“Being a student-athlete is something that is very difficult to do,” said Boynton. “A big thing I still do now is to make sure I am working hard at whatever I do.”

While admitting he wasn’t the most outstanding student, he has great memories of Dr. Jerry Gaw in history classes and Dr. Marc Schwerdt in political science.

“They both had great senses of humor,” said Boynton. “They made class fun. They carried on a personal relationship with me and pushed me to work hard in class.”

Charles Morrow remembers Jeff Boynton:

Lipscomb soccer coach Charles Morrow didn’t recruit Jeff Boynton, but he spent three years coaching him.

Morrow wasn’t surprised that Boynton became a coach. He also wasn’t surprised that Boynton has been quickly successful in his dual roles as head coach of both the girls and boys soccer teams at Oakland High School in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

“Jeff was a leader, no doubt,” said Morrow. “He was always vocal. He always had his opinions about the game.

“Some guys are like that and nobody listens to them. But he had the respect of the guys he played with. He wanted to teach high school and coach. He graduated from Blackmon High School, but got a coaching job at Oakland. We knew he would do a good job when he got out for sure.”

As a player with the Bisons from 2004 to 2007 Boynton displayed all of the tools to become a coach. He was a hard worker who hated to lose.

“As a player he was hard-nosed and tough,” said Morrow. “You always knew you were going to get an honest effort out of him. He had a good work ethic.

“He was probably not the most talented guy when we got here, but he worked really hard and got better and better. He was a guy who hated to lose. He was a good athlete with a strong desire to win and succeed more than his athleticism and his technical abilities.”

Xander Vooys, Ben Page and Boynton were known for being best friends off of the field, but highly-competitive on the field.

“If they were on the same team and someone messed up they would be on them,” said Morrow. “If they were matched up against each other in training they would go after each other.”

Boynton played a couple of different positions for the Bisons and brought a strong understanding of the game. Morrow likes to think that Boynton’s coaching style has been influenced somewhat by what he learned at Lipscomb.

“I think at the end of four years players understand why we do certain things and the progression of things in our program,” said Morrow. “ Like any other coach most certainly he took some things from us that he liked, and if he was really playing attention he probably took some things from us that we didn’t like, and said he was going to do something different.

“I don’t look at him and say he is doing the same thing we did over here. He knows himself and his personality. He was always the kind of guy who was going to do things his way. I don’t mean that he wasn’t coachable or didn’t buy into the system. But off the field he was his own person. As a coach that is a good quality.

Being a coach is a profession where everybody has an opinion about what you need to be doing and everyone has the right answers. But at the end of the day as a coach you need to do what you know is best. I’m not surprised at all that he is doing well.”