When Mingus Union High School Athletic Director Mike Boysen came to town in 1993 he was hired to be the school’s athletic trainer and was required to teach a few classes.
Who knew 17 years later Boysen would be one of the more recognizable athletic directors in the state?
Last year, Boysen received the 4A conference athletic director of the year award, which is handed out once a year by the Arizona Interscholastic Athletics Administrators Association.
At the moment, Boysen leads the way for a Mingus athletics program that is successful at almost every turn, from football to cross country to tennis to baseball.
Boysen is also the head athletic trainer and runs the program with a classroom of kids eager to learn the trade.
Originally from Austin, Minn., Boysen graduated from Canon City High School in Canon City, Colo., in 1983.
From there Boysen attended the University of Northern Colorado and graduated with a degree in athletic training in 1989.
Immediately after college, Boysen was hired by the NFL’s Denver Broncos to an internship position which he held for one year before spending three years at a physical therapy clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo.
During his time at the clinic, Boysen spent his afternoons working at Sierra High School with their athletes and soon after was hired at Mingus.
Boysen didn’t become an athletic director until the 1999-2000 school year, and has held the position ever since.
“My favorite thing about being an athletic director is the little things that most people don’t see from the outside. Sometimes the success of a certain team can depend on it and that’s what makes the job worth it,” Boysen said.
The 45-year-old Minnesota native believes his relationships with other athletic directors around the Verde Valley have helped his cause as well.
Boysen confessed one of his biggest role models in the profession lives only 15 miles away, Camp Verde High School Athletic Director Mark Showers.
“I don’t think he knows this but I’ve always admired and respected Mark [Showers]. I use him as a role model for myself and how to run a good athletics program. We have a very good relationship. He’s a great person as well, which is the most important thing of all,” Boysen said.
During his 17-year tenure at Mingus, Boysen has seen a lot of athletes come through the halls for the Marauders, but nothing has been more exciting to him than when his own two kids have made it onto the field.
Josh, Boysen’s 20-year-old son, was a Mingus football and tennis player who currently serves in the U.S. Air Force.
Boysen’s 15-year-old daughter Kalina is currently enrolled at Mingus, and plays volleyball and softball for the Marauders.
“It’s been neat to see my own kids come through the program and getting to watch them has been a thrill,” Boysen said.
Despite recent troubles with the athletic program at Mingus, Boysen continues to show excellence in his work on and off the field and one day, there may be more than one AIAAA awards sitting on his mantel.