Pete Boyle entertains fans during time-out sweeps
By Mary Lynn Bruny
Yes, CU has an awesome men’s basketball team, but fans also adore the Buffs’ ball boy who boogies down while sweeping. He just happens to be Coach Tad Boyle’s 11-year-old-son, Pete. Boulder Magazine sat down for a chat with Pete at the Boyle family’s kitchen table while his mother, Ann, and 13-year-old sister, Claire, got dinner going, and his father, fielding phone calls in the next room, occasionally popped in to listen. Pete is a sixth-grader at Boulder’s Sacred Heart School, where he plays mainly forward on the basketball team. He began his ball-boy dancing when he was in second grade and his dad coached for the University of Northern Colorado.
BOULDER MAG: What’s your official title?
PETE: Head ball boy.
MOM: We call him “sweet Pete on his dancing feet” (everyone chuckles).
BOULDER MAG: What are your responsibilities at the CU basketball games besides sweeping the court during time-outs?
PETE: Not a lot. I kinda go rebound for the players before the game when they’re warming up, I put the balls away and stuff, and I have to give the refs water.
BOULDER MAG: How did all this dancing at the games start?
PETE: I don’t even know. Do you remember, Mom?
MOM: At UNC they didn’t have a band, so they played crazy, funky music over loudspeakers. And Pete, well, ever since he was a little baby, he just starts to dance whenever he hears music. He feels the joy. So he started dancing when he was sweeping, and the crowd would go crazy. I think he just realized it was a fun thing to do.
BOULDER MAG: What do you think you add to the games?
PETE: Maybe a little more entertainment than watching sweaty guys walk around the floor, I guess.
BOULDER MAG: I hear the ladies especially
PETE (laughs, embarrassed): No, sure, yah, as if.
BOULDER MAG: What does your family think of your dancing?
MOM: We love it!
PETE: My dad really never watches it. He’s always in a huddle with all the tall guys around him. I don’t know what my sister thinks.
SISTER (laughs): It’s weird.
MOM: Oh, you like it!
SISTER: It’s OK.
BOULDER MAG: Do you ever get tired of the CU fight song? I mean, the band plays it about a thousand times per game.
PETE: No, I don’t really get sick of it, though they do play it a lot. It’s pretty catchy. It’s a good fight song.
BOULDER MAG: I totally agree! So, when did you first start dancing?
PETE: We had these Saturday-morning dance contests when I was little. My mom and dad would put on music and be the judges and my brother, sister and I would dance.
BOULDER MAG: Do you all dance around
MOM: Yes, all the time!
BOULDER MAG: Who are the worst and best dancers in your family?
PETE: Oh, gosh. The worst is probably my dad. He is quite embarrassing. But the best is obviously me. Mom’s runner-up. My brother [15-year-old Jack] and Claire are OK.
BOULDER MAG: Why is your dad the worst?
PETE: He’s just weird. He’s a goofball. He has no rhythm or beat. (No family member argues this point, including Tad Boyle.)
BOULDER MAG: Well, I guess it’s a good thing he’s better at coaching.
PETE: Oh, yah, definitely!
BOULDER MAG: Are you looking forward to dancing with girls?
PETE: Nooo. I’m not very good at that. I’m not a good slow dancer.
BOULDER MAG: On a scale from one to 10, one being bad and 10 being super good, how would you rate yourself as a dancer?
BOULDER MAG: Really?
MOM AND SISTER: Five?
PETE: OK, seven. I don’t think I’m that good. (Everyone laughs.)
BOULDER MAG: How would you rate your dad as a coach?
PETE: That would be a 10.
BOULDER MAG: How about your sister as a sister?
PETE (after thinking it over): That would be an eight.
BOULDER MAG: How would you rate your mom as a mother?
PETE: My mom as a mother? That would be a 20.
Freelance writer Mary Lynn Bruny lives in Boulder County. She and her husband are CU men’s basketball season ticketholders and big Pete fans.