After resigning from Milton prior to the 2012-13 season, Boyd has been absent from the coaching world and is excited about this new opportunity, he said.
“I had time to reflect and get back to my roots with the church. Another opportunity to teach and coach and for my spirituality, that’s a win for me,” Boyd said.
Boyd led Milton to state Class AAAAA championships in 2010 and 2012 and runner-up in the 2009 and 2011 seasons. He resigned in September amid allegations of recruiting and undue influence within his basketball program – charges he denied.
In more than 30 years as a head coach Boyd amassed 604 wins and won six state titles at four different schools — Campbell, Tucker, Berkmar and Milton.
Helping to influence his decision to apply for the vacancy was the desire to become a part-time teacher, Boyd said.
“I wanted to get back into coaching and I retired from full-time teaching and it’s easier to find part-time teaching in a private school,” he said.
Boyd will be teaching a senior English class and possibly a physical education class.
He said the region competition as well as the job former coach Jon-Michael Nickerson did with the team were also deciding factors. The Eagles, who compete in Class A, finished 26-3 and advanced to the Elite Eight of the state tournament this past season under Nickerson.
“If we could do as well as the team did last year, I’d be thrilled. We’re going to be younger, but we have a good group of rising 10th-graders. This may be a rebuilding season, but I feel like there is a lot of potential,” Boyd said.
As Boyd steps up, Nickerson steps down after being with Excel basketball for two seasons.
During this school year Nickerson served as the athletic director, head softball coach, head boys’ basketball coach and assistant coach on the JV soccer team.
Nickerson moved to become a graduate assistant at perennial national power University of Memphis in Tennessee, where he will continue to work with basketball players.
Leaving Excel was a tough decision, according to Nickerson, but he said his goal was always to coach at the college level in Division I.
“My time at Excel has been too quick…I wasn’t going to leave Excel for just anything…I truly expect coach Boyd to come in and continue to build a program that’s respected,” said Nickerson.
Taking over for Nickerson as the new athletic director at Excel is Bartow native Chad Parker. With years of experience in baseball ranging from college to the majors, Parker will also serve as the new softball and baseball coach.