Bryan Boswell steps into a management position.

Senior Bryan Boswell did not have a great experience playing basketball at Southwestern Oregon. After playing for the men’s basketball team last season, he has a new role as a team manager this year.

Josh Worden, Senior Beat Reporter

Bryan Boswell finds his role as a student manager

Bryan Boswell had lost his passion in basketball.

The 6-foot-8 product of Sisters, Ore. transferred from Southwestern Oregon Community College after spending an up-and-down two years on the basketball team. He arrived at Oregon State without any plan of playing basketball beyond the occasional pickup games at Dixon Recreation Center.

Less than a month after classes started, Boswell was officially on the OSU men’s basketball team and this season, Boswell remains in the program as a team manager. All this came after his involvement in basketball was seemingly over.

“I had some (scholarship) offers but turned them all down because my passion was kind’ve gone for the game,” Boswell said. “And then I got to Dixon and I was like, ‘Well, I could do this again.’ So I went, tried out and it worked out.”

Boswell said waiting for the phone call after tryouts was “one of the most stressful times” of his life, with the chance to revitalize his career after a head-scratching two years at Southwestern Oregon. He carved out a significant role on the team partway through his two-year stint in Coos Bay, but his playing time inexplicably plummeted at the end of his second season and what he perceived as a lack of communication between him and the staff has never been cleared up.

“I don’t know what and where I became a role player and then not a part of the program at all,” Boswell said. “I don’t know what happened and I still don’t know to this day. It’s something that always fuels my passion to keep going. Now I look back at it and that’s what drives me the most is that failure: not knowing what really happened at that school.”

As OSU’s new head coach Wayne Tinkle got acquainted with Boswell last year, a mutual respect blossomed. Boswell found the opposite of the “bad coaching” he endured previously, and Tinkle found a player who both benefitted from and gave back to the program. Because of that, Tinkle didn’t hesitate to make Boswell a manager this season.

“He was a guy that maybe at the college level, being away from home for the first time, maybe needed a little direction,” Tinkle said. “We didn’t want to set him adrift. So we offered him to come back and be a part of the team because we felt he could be a positive to us and vice versa. We’re glad to have him. He works his tail off.”

For Boswell, the decision to stay was easy. He trusted coach Tinkle and wanted to continue gaining work experience alongside the entire staff.

“What stood out for me was the way coach Tinkle handled his team compared to coaches in the past,” Boswell said. “He has very much control over where he wants his program to go, but he’s also very genuine and easy to talk to. He cares about his players.”

Boswell also noted how Tinkle didn’t solely favor his best players, which was especially important to the walk-on. Also a huge positive for Boswell as a team manager is the resumé-building and connections at OSU. Before, Boswell expected to be a “suit and tie guy” at Nike, where he had previously spent time in Beaverton. Over time, in part because of his role at OSU, his interests changed. Now, he wants to continue working in college athletics and contribute to student athletes’ success in a role similar to that of Rachi Wortham, the Director of Player Personnel with the men’s basketball team.

According to Wortham, Boswell has been a “work in progress” because of how new he is to working in collegiate athletics.

“It’s a different dynamic because a lot of times he’s a leader wherever he’s at and he can just talk, laugh and joke,” Wortham said. “Here, he has to be quiet and do whatever the boss tells him to do. It’s different. It’s just a learning experience for him, but it’s been good nonetheless.”

Boswell worked this past summer at a youth basketball camp in Corvallis, where he coached a team of fifth graders. It wasn’t the most glorious of positions, but Boswell loved the leadership role and ability to help players — even pre-teens.

“Every day I went to work and even though it was long hours, I loved being there,” Boswell said. “It’s better than when I worked at Nike when I was like, ‘Oh, I can’t wait to get out of here.’ This was like, ‘I can’t wait to come back again and work.’”

Boswell’s resumé is already growing: while at Southwestern Oregon, Boswell made the Dean’s List every term, won the Northwest Athletic Conference Leadership Award and graduated with a 3.65 GPA in Business Management Entrepreneurship.

Though Boswell never entered a game last year with the Beavers, the familiarity he gained with OSU’s program now enhances his role as a manager. Boswell still jumps into practice at times and works with the post players since he learned the drills last season.

As a new team manager, Boswell is relegated during games to scrubbing the floor near the basket in between plays and coaching the volunteer 10-year-olds in the same task.

“The first game I did it, the kid just went everywhere. I had to explain it to him that they wanted to clean the key,” Boswell said with a laugh. “(The next game), I had this kid who would jump up and go. He did it really quick and it was nice to see. I didn’t even have to tell him what to do.”

Boswell will continue plugging away as a team manager this year. His job during games or at practices may not be the most noticeable to fans, but Boswell loves where he’s headed.

“For me personally, I just want to get the most out of this experience this year,” Boswell said. “And also to help the team out as much as possible so I can help them move toward their ultimate goal, which is to win the Pac-12 and make the (NCAA) Tournament. The journey is going to take a couple years, but I see in the next couple years they’re going to be a very prominent basketball program in the nation. I’m really excited to see I was on the ground level of the Tinkle era.”

On Twitter @BrightTies

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