Colorado Buffaloes Men’s Basketball History Update

The Buffs have competed in 16 NCAA Tournaments, most recently in 2024, with two Final Fours

In this series of updates on the history of SuperWest men’s hoops program, we provide a brief coaching summary, list of the current coaches, along with postseason results, conference titles, award winners, and all-time coaching records.

The Colorado Men’s Basketball team, initially known as the Silver and Gold, began play on January 10, 1901, and became the Buffaloes in 1934.

The Buffs have competed in 14 NCAA Tournaments, making the Final Four twice. Colorado has also played in nine National Invitation Tournaments, winning the tournament once, and making the semi-finals twice.

Colorado basketball picked up steam in 1935 with the hiring of Frosty Cox, who led the Buffs to three NCAA Tournaments, including the 1942 Final Four, and two NITs, winning the NIT title in 1940.

Altogether, Cox won five conference titles, posting a career record of 147-89.

Sox Walseth was hired in 1956, coaching the Buff men for 20 years before coaching the women’s team for three, becoming the first to coach both the men and women at the same school.

Former Colorado Coach Sox Walseth and two of his players | The Denver Post via Getty Images

A former Buff player, Walseth led his teams to three Big-8 Conference championships and made three NCAA Tournament appearances. He won conference Coach of the Year Four times, compiling a record of 260-246.

Ricardo Patton coached Colorado from 1996 to 2007, guiding the Buffs to the postseason six times, including two NCAA Tournaments, finishing with a career record of 184-160.

Former Buffs coach Ricardo Patton | The Denver Post

Tad Boyle took the reins of the program in 2010, one year before the Buffs joined the Pac-12, and led Colorado to the Conference’s first Tournament title in 2012, winning four straight games as the No. 6 seed.

Boyle has directed the Buffs to six NCAA Tournaments, the most of any Colorado coach, as well four NITs.

His eight-straight postseason appearances are a school record, as are his three-straight trips to the Big Dance.

Having posted a record of 298–183 in Boulder, including 20+ wins in five of the last six seasons, Boyle is the winningest men’s head basketball coach in Colorado history.

He has earned several extensions in the course of his perpetual five-year contract, currently worth $2.6 million annually.

Boyle’s 26 wins in the 2023-24 season set a new single-season school record en route to winning two games in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in his 14-year tenure.

The Buffs appear poised to make plenty of noise next season when they join the Big 12, arguably the best college basketball conference in the country.

University of Colorado (Boulder, CO)

CU Events Center

Current Head Coach: Tad Boyle (2010-present)
Associate Head Coach: Mike Rohn (2010-present)
Assistant: Bill Grier (2016-present)
Assistant: Rick Ray (2020-present)
Assistant: Bill Cartun (2012-present)

Postseason Results
National Championships: 0
Final Four Appearances: 2 (1942, 1955)
Elite Eight Appearances: 6 (1940, 1942, 1946, 1955, 1962, 1963)
Sweet Sixteen Appearances: 5 (1954, 1955, 1962, 1963, 1969)
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 16 (1940, 1942, 1946, 1954, 1955, 1962, 1963, 1969, 1997, 2003, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2021, 2024)
NCAA Tournament Overall Record: 13-18
NIT Championships: 1 (1940)
NIT Appearances: 13 (1938, 1940, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2011, 2017, 2019, 2022, 2023)
NIT Overall Record: 14-12
CBI Appearances: 1 (2015)
CBI Overall Record: 1-1

Conf. Titles (MSC/Skyline, Rocky Mtn, Big Eight, Big 12, Pac-12)
Pac-12 Regular Season Championships: 0
Pac-12 Tournament Championships: 1 (2012)
Big Eight Regular Season Championships: 5 (1954, 1955, 1962, 1963, 1969)
MSC/Skyline Regular Season Championships: 14 (1913, 1914, 1916, 1918, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1929, 1930, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1942)
Rocky Mountain Regular Season Championships: 7 (1910, 1916, 1918, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1930)

Annual Award Winners
Naismith Player of the Year: 0
John R. Wooden Award: 0
Oscar Robertson Trophy: 0
AP All-Americans: 2 (Chauncey Billups, 1997; Cliff Meely, 1971)
Pac-12 Player of the Year: 0
Big Eight Player of the Year: 2 (Cliff Meely, 1969 & 1971)

Colorado Head Coaches Records

Tad Boyle2010-Present298–183060
Jeff Bzdelik2007-201036-58000
Ricardo Patton1996-2007184-160020
Joe Harrington1990-199672-85000
Tom Miller1986-199035-79000
Tom Apke1981-198659-81000
Bill Blair1976-198167-69000
Sox Walseth1956-1976260-246330
Bebe Lee1950-195663-74220
Frosty Cox1935-1950147-89530
Dutch Clark1934-19353-90
Henry Iba1933-19349-80
Howard Beresford1924-193376-512
Joe Mills1918-192430-243
Melbourne Evans1917-19189-21
Jimmy Ashmore1914-191716-102
John McFadden1912-191412-72
Frank Castleman1906-191232-22

—More from Staff—