Stars aligned: BYU volleyball standout Ryan Boyce proving that hard work pays off

By Jonathan Boldt

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Jan. 31 2013 3:55 p.m. MST

Boyce’s stability is an asset that BYU coach Chris McGown is more than happy to have on the court.

“I think it helps to have a guy that’s not prone to these emotional swings,” McGown said. “Like when all of a sudden ‘the world is ending’ or ‘woe is me’ type of thing. Being a little more grounded is in his nature and it’s a nice attribute to have at that position.”

According to Gary Boyce, Carl McGown, the former BYU head coach and current assistant to his son Chris, has been a force in Boyce’s development.

“He is coached by the best. Carl McGown is a legend,” Gary Boyce said. “He’s got probably the best volleyball mind in the country. Chris McGown is the same type of focused personality and it’s all business with those two.”

Boyce could not have chosen a better environment to help achieve his post-playing-days goals, his father feels.

“All he wants to do when he’s done playing is to coach,” Gary said. “With Alan Knight (team USA coach), Carl and Chris McGown and even Ron, they are all helping him and preparing him to be a great coach.”

Not only is Boyce receiving top-notch training, he’s getting a chance as a PE major and student teacher to employ what he’s learned.

“I’m at Mapleton Junior High right now teaching seventh- and eighth-graders,” Boyce said. “I’m doing some PE and weight training classes, so that’s been fun. I gave them extra credit to watch the (BYU volleyball) game and write up a paragraph about what they saw the other night. We’ve been doing a volleyball unit, so it’s been a riot to see them see what we’ve been talking about in class and then use it themselves. It’s really been a blast.”

When he’s not teaching seventh- and eighth-graders the intricacies of the sport, Boyce has a national championship on his mind.

“That’s what we want to do,” he said. “We want to win a national championship. It’s with the process in mind though. You can’t have that end result without the process. We understand that every day you have to work. You have to get better. And you have to do the things that will make your teammates better. So yeah, it’s on our mind, but for sure we understand it going to be a process.

"Coach McGown has really talked about that a lot this year and it’s a good lesson — not just for volleyball but for anything you want to do in life.”

Boyce’s attitude is contagious, and with the energy at the Smith Fieldhouse added to the mix, it’s no wonder the Cougars enjoy one of the best atmospheres in the nation.

“You know what? The best feeling is just setting a good ball and letting those teammates just go and rip it,” Boyce said. “Because you’ve done your part. The fans do love the hitters. I love the hitters, ‘cause it’s fun to watch. But we’re a team and we don’t care (who gets credit). I don’t care if the crowd’s yelling at me. Taylor (Sander) doesn’t care if the crowd’s yelling at him. If everyone’s doing their part, of course the crowd is going to be there.”

Were Hollywood to write a movie about Boyce, it wouldn't won’t end with the star becoming world famous — mainly because he doesn’t want to — but the stars have aligned in a different way.

He serves his church. He's playing at the school of his dreams. He found his wife. They have a baby on the way. And he's teaching the game he loves to children.

Just goes to show what can happen when you align the stars yourself.

Jonathan Boldt is the Editor-in-Chief of the UVU Review at Utah Valley University, and can be reached at jonboldt@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @jboldt24.

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