|Dan Boykin ‘scores’ a fitting honor — gym bearing his name |
|Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 10:00 pm |
By MIKE HUTCHENS
A proclamation was read detailing his lengthy tenure by Union City Director of Schools Gary Houston (left) and school board chairman Glenda Caudle before they revealed the naming of the gym in Boykin’s honor. Boykin’s wife, Marquetta (right)
Messenger Sports Editor
Fittingly, the place where Dan Boykin spent a great deal of his time as an educator in the Union City School System will now bear his name.
Boykin, who retired after 40 years as a teacher, coach and administrator at Union City Middle School last year, was honored for that tenure at Tuesday’s Union City-Humboldt game, where it was announced that the UCMS hardwood will now by known as the Dan Boykin Gymnasium. The original proposal for that honor was brought before the school board by member Curtis McLendon and was heartily endorsed by those who serve with him.
The surprise announcement had been kept a secret from Boykin, who was admittedly stunned by the news delivered by Union City School Board chairman Glenda Caudle, who read what was thought to be simply a proclamation detailing Boykin’s services during between-game ceremonies.
“I had no inkling,” a still-surprised Boykin said after visiting with the last of many well-wishers who showed up to celebrate his legacy in the Union City School System. “What a surprise and an honor.
“I spent a lot of time in that gym. For 26 years, I coached there and was there probably more than anywhere else. And I still have a lot of kids who either played for me or who came through the halls when I was a coach and then later as the principal who call me ‘coach.’ I take that as a great compliment.”
With his brother Thomas — the longtime Humboldt boys’ head coach — in attendance, a humble Boykin addressed a gathering that gave him three separate standing ovations and included several school board members, as well as Director of Schools Gary Houston, who also spoke and joined Mrs. Caudle in the presentation of the resolution.
Boykin, who was joined by wife Marquetta and other family members, relayed a story to the crowd of how “Union City did not make a good first impression with me.”
A native of Humboldt, he played his last basketball game at the former Stigall High School in the regional tournament semifinals against Union City, which beat his team and ended his prep career.
“My momma always said, though, ‘If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,’” Boykin concluded to laughter and an approving ovation from the crowd.
The now 63-year-old former Union City school man admitted he’s struggled somewhat with a slower-paced retirement life.
Though still active as a basketball official and softball umpire and in various community projects that prompted his naming as the Pride of Obion County award winner in 2007, Boykin says he sometimes misses the long days and nights of his past.
“For a guy who grew up working since he was 14 years old, it’s been an adjustment,” he grinned. “Officiating games has been my only true outlet, so far, and I’m just not one for sitting around and doing nothing.”
That philosophy was the foundation of Dan Boykin Gymnasium. Published in The Messenger 1.25.12