BOULDER, Colo. Even Buffaloes know that Jayhawks and Tigers usually don’t mix well -- but if they do, it must truly be special.
That’s why regardless of long-standing former allegiances, no one is happier to bring former Missouri standout Kim English into the Colorado basketball program as an assistant coach than his new boss, former Kansas guard and Buffaloes’ head coach Tad Boyle.
English replaces Jean Prioleau, who recently became the head coach at San Jose State.
“For a guy that went to Kansas, to hire a guy that went to Missouri, you know he’s really good,” Boyle said.
English, appreciative of the rivalry jab, responded in kind.
“And for a former Tiger to go and work for a Jayhawk, you know he must be good!”
English spent the last two seasons on the men’s basketball staff at Tulsa under Frank Haith, who he played for as a senior at Missouri. He was an assistant coach last season for the Golden Hurricane while serving as the program’s director of player development in 2015-16.
“It’s a chance for me to get to the Power 5 level and compete against the best,” English said. “The Pac-12 Conference is at an all-time high. Bill Walton always calls it the ‘Conference of Champions’ and it truly is. I’m excited to work for coach Boyle and this staff and excited to work extremely hard for these student-athletes.”
Boyle, who coached the Buffaloes in two games against English’s Tigers in 2011, developed a connection with his new assistant this last spring on the recruiting trail. Boyle was impressed by English, which was further verified by his network of coaches.
“No. 1 he’s very professional,” Boyle said. “He carries himself extremely well. The more homework I did on him, everyone that has come into contact with him – from players to those in his early coaching career -- have had nothing but glowing remarks. He really vetted well with people that I know and respect in this business.”
English describes himself as an “every-day, even-keel guy.” He has four words for all of his student-athletes: play hard, act right.
“I preach good habits with our guys, so I do the same,” English said. “I’ll be a relentless worker from a player development standpoint, relentless in scouting and preparing for our opponents, and a relentless worker on the recruiting trail.”
Boyle sees similarities in English that he saw in Prioleau as a young coach 19 years ago.
“He’s not too far removed from playing, so he can relate to the players,” said Boyle, who picked up his first Big 12 conference victory against English and the Tigers in 2011. “Kim has a passion for having a positive effect on young men’s lives; being a mentor and a positive role model.
“The great thing about Colorado is that you can attract good candidates. Kim English isn’t just a good one, he’s a great one. We’re lucky to have him.”
Following a successful playing career at Missouri from 2008-12, English was selected by the Detroit Pistons with the 44th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. He played in 41 games during the 2012-13 season and spent the following two years overseas.
English averaged 11.1 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.1 steals per game during his four-year career at Missouri and his 1,570 points ranks 13th in program history. He earned third-team All-Big 12 Conference honors in 2010 and 2012, and was named to the USA Today All-Improved Team and the USBWA All-District Team in 2010.
In 2012, English averaged 14.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.3 steals per outing, and he ranked fifth in the Big 12 with 78 3-point field goals, while leading Missouri to a school-record 30 wins, the Big 12 Tournament title and a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament during Haith’s first season. He was named Most Outstanding Player of the Big 12 Tournament as he averaged 23.0 points and shot 78-percent during the Tigers’ championship run.
After his time with the Pistons, English played basketball in Europe, including stints with Montepaschi Siena in Italy and Chorale Roanne Basket, Nancy Basket and Cholet Basket in France, along with Guaros De Lara BBC in Venezuela. He also had a brief stint with the Chicago Bulls in 2014.
A native of Baltimore, Md., English received his bachelor’s degree in general studies from Missouri in 2012. He and his wife, Jessica, welcomed a daughter, Celine, to the family in April.