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Rich Boyce

March 15, 2004

Steve Virgen

When Rich Boyce thinks back on his time at Estancia High, wonderful

memories are conjured from the 13 years he spent at the school.

Extraordinary highlights of basketball come to mind and a tone of

voice usually reserved for a fairy tale also results as he explains

the atmosphere of boys high school basketball at Estancia in the

early 1990s.

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However, there were other memories, off the court, that Boyce also

holds true to his heart.

Boyce came to Estancia as a 20-year-old assistant coach. And,

thanks to colleagues, some of whom he called friends, he left a man,

and a better coach. Boyce was head coach of the Estancia boys

basketball team for four seasons (1996-2000).

"Most of the memories were about the people I worked with," said

Boyce, who is now a coach and teacher at Edison. "I worked for great

people: Tim O'Brien and Tim Parsel. They gave me great insight on how

to be a great coach. Tim O'Brien was the best man in my wedding. With

Tim Parsel, we talk about everything from fantasy football to golf. I

also met Bob Francy and Bill Wetzel and Tom Antal. I worked for some

great people. I find myself fortunate to work in something I love. I

feel very fortunate."

Boyce began pursuing that passion shortly after graduating from

Tustin High in 1985. He lettered in basketball and baseball for the

Tillers.

He was planning to play basketball at Golden West College, but he

injured his knee. He then coached with O'Brien and Rich Prospero at

Tustin. O'Brien coached Boyce when he played at Tustin. Three years

later, when O'Brien left to work at Estancia, Boyce followed.

Some of Boyce's best basketball memories were produced in the

1989-90 and 1990-91 seasons. The Eagles won the CIF Division III

state championship in 1991 and a CIF section title in 1990. There

were also games that stood out.

"There was the triple-overtime game at Lompoc when Matt

Fuerbringer made the layup to win," Boyce said. "It was just an

emotional game. That was the year we won CIF in 1990. That basketball

memory was unbelievable. Winning the state title was unbelievable.

The journey to the title is what I remember. The triple-OT game is

the one I remember. We had some great wins and some great kids in

that time."

Boyce was plenty prepared when he became head coach of the Eagles

in 1996. He guided Estancia to the playoffs all four seasons and won

a Pacific Coast League title his first year.

Boyce, 36, lives in Lake Forest with is wife, Michelle, and their

1-year-old son, Kyle.

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