Some sad news to relay tonight, as longtime Rutgers basketball analyst Joe Boylan died at 82.
Boylan’s passing comes after he suffered a stroke on Wednesday night.
Via Steve Politi at NJ.com, the team wasn’t aware of Boylan’s death prior to playing their second round game tonight against Houston, which the Scarlet Knights lost:
Boylan had suffered a stroke on Wednesday night but had been recovering at Cooper University Hospital in Camden after surgery to remove a blood clot. His condition took a turn for the worse on Sunday afternoon. Loyola of Maryland, where he served as athletic director for 19 years, announced the news of his passing.
The team was not aware of his passing when it took the floor against Houston, with head coach Steve Pikiell breaking the news after the game.
“One of the nicest people I’ve ever met,” Pikiell said at his news conference after the 63-60 loss to the Cougars. “He’ll be really missed. One of the greatest people I’ve been around — just a real special person. I’m sorry for his family for the loss. He’s a legend at Rutgers.”
That’s a pretty horrible day for Rutgers athletics. Boylan had been part of the athletic department for decades, including multiple stints as a broadcaster, with his most recent run beginning in 2015:
Boylan’s weathered voice was more than just a fixture on radio broadcasts since he returned to the role as color analyst in 2015. It is the voice that everyone loved to hear when they arrived at the Rutgers Athletic Center — cheery, funny, and always ready with a story to share — during a relationship with the university that spanned a half century.
He was associate head coach under Tom Young from 1973-85, a key figure on the bench during the team’s 1976 Final Four run. When Young left to take the job at Old Dominion after the 1984-85 season, Boylan stayed behind to create the athletic department’s academic support staff and worked his first stint as color commentator.
In addition to his work at Rutgers, Boylan served as the athletic director at Loyola-Maryland.
Radio partner Jerry Recco echoed Steve Pikiell’s praise for Boylan’s kindness:
“Joe was one of the nicest men I have ever met,” said Jerry Recco, his current radio partner. “It was an absolute honor to work with him for the last five years and to call him my friend. It’s heartbreaking. I’ll miss him dearly.”
It’s been a sad stretch for college broadcasters, as Purdue’s Larry Clisby passed away at the end of February.
[NJ.com/photo via Rutgers Athletics]