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Mike Boynton: 'I don't have any reason to believe that I won't' return next season

Mar. 8—Mike Boynton said Thursday he expects to be back as the Oklahoma State men's basketball coach in 2024-25.

"I don't have any reason to believe that I won't. I'm not trying to speculate, but I know that's a question," Boynton said. "I don't want to pretend like it's not."

The Cowboys (12-18) have their record in five years and will not make the NCAA tournament for the third straight year. Boynton, who has been the coach since 2017, is 119-107 over his tenure as of Friday.

Boynton said he has not discussed his job status with athletic director Chad Weiberg in the middle of the season but would expect to do so at the end of next week's Big 12 Championship.

"I'm not trying to predict anything," he said. "My expectation is I'm going to continue to work hard to do what I'm supposed to do for the program until I'm told otherwise."

Boynton, all season, has tried to strike the balance between resetting the program with inexperienced players while also being expected to win games in a league with a long learning curve.

The competitiveness and physicality of the Big 12 can be daunting for newcomers, and OSU's have been thrown into the fire to learn as they go.

"We came into the season eyes wide open about the challenges that we would have," Boynton said. "It's also in some ways good for them ... that they'll be better prepared earlier than maybe some freshmen who will be coming in next year."

And if they aren't, he will assuredly be out of a job next year.

"We need to be a tournament team," Boynton said. "That's got to be Priority 1 for everybody associated with our program — starting with me, but every player, every staff member, every (graduate assistant). I want that to be the mindset of our administration if I'm fortunate enough to be back."

Boynton said he didn't want to make excuses for the lack of tournament appearances (one in seven years) while also acknowledging that the 2022-23 Cowboys were the first team out.

Still, he understands it's a results-based, public-facing job that comes with many pros and cons.

"I accept the criticism," Boynton said. "It's warranted in many ways."

For what it's worth, there hasn't been a single hint of internal turmoil — even when Boytnon voiced frustrations about the roster because of the program's second-rate NIL resources.

"We'll address the personnel issues that we need to address as the offseason approaches," Boynton said.