Catching Up With: Former Guard Tyler Relph (’08)

Relph transferred back to Western NY after starting his career in WV.

Relph transferred back to Western NY after starting his career in WV.

In an effort to bring more diverse and interesting content to you, we thought it would be fun to reach out to some former players and coaches. For the first installment of this series I caught up with 2008 graduate, Tyler Relph.

The Victor, NY native and former HS standout transferred to Bonaventure after one year at West Virginia. By his senior year in Olean, Tyler was the sharp shooting, ball handling wizard many hoped he would become. He averaged 11.9 ppg, 3.9 assists, 2.7 rebounds while shooting 43% from beyond the arc and a nation leading 94% from the line.

Q.  What do the following names have in common? Julius Hodge, Sebastian Telfair, Stephon Marbury, Lance Stephenson, Tobias Harris, Tyler Relph.

A.  Haha. We were all Mr. Basketball of NYS.

Q.  After leaving West Virginia, how did you end up at Bonaventure?

A.  SBU was close to home, it was A10 and had a lot of basketball history. I was a kid

TR McQuaid

The former McQuaid star was named Mr. Basketball in NY.

that always liked a challenge and them being on a ban I felt the challenge was to help them back to the prominence that the University deserved.

Q.  What’s it like playing in the Reilly Center?

A.  There’s no place like the Reilly Center in my opinion. I’ve been to Allen Fieldhouse* and the most famous arenas in the country and when the Reilly Center Rocks, I’d say it’s only rivaled by Cameron Indoor** and Allen Fieldhouse.*Kansas
**Duke (but seriously, you should have all known this one)

Q.  Favorite Bonaventure Basketball memory?

A.  I don’t know if I would call it a memory, but it was Coach Schmidt and that staff coming there for my senior year. They really changed my life and my direction and made me fall back in love with basketball. So even though it’s not a memory I always think back to them and I owe all my successes to that staff.

Favorite memory on a side note was probably beating Albany after what their coach said about our school, and hitting the shot to seal the win. I felt like he attacked my school and my community so that was special.

Q.  Burton or OP?
The OP no doubt!

Q.  After serving one year on staff with Schmidt after graduation as the Director of Player Personnel, you moved to Texas to start the Tyler Relph Basketball Academy (TRB). Did you always want to get into training players?

A.  I was a player built on skill development, I was always the hardest worker in HS, I felt no one could outwork me, and also my senior year (college) I became that again. I just actually fell in love with it while working with former Bonnie Ogo.


Relph now runs TRB down in Texas…he continues to try and send SBU players but getting over the weather seems to be an issue.

Q.  How is training different than coaching? Do you ever see yourself getting back into a coaching role?

A.  Training you’re focused on that player’s development, individual development, while also throwing in different team movements or different types of reads and footwork and counters depending upon what position it is. Coaching is more about recruiting, scouting reports, understanding your team and the roles on the team.

Q.  Do you stay in touch with Schmidt and the coaching staff? Do you recommend Bonaventure to any of your athletes?

A.  I talk to someone on the staff probably every month whether it be Schmidt or Coach Moore. I always talk about Bonnies to my guys, but a lot of players in Texas want to stay in the Big 12 area*.

*Interview conducted on February 19th. Tyler mentions that it is currently 82 degrees. On the flip side, currently snowing and 8 degrees in Olean.

Q.  Your senior year you led the nation in FT % at 94%. The Bonnies are currently the best FT team in the country. How much of your success at the charity stripe do you owe to Schmidt? We go to a gym right now to take 100 FTs, how many are hitting?

A.  I was always a really good free throw shooter, I actually give the credit to Coach Moore who sat in the gym every day that year while I made 200 FTs. He deserves that award as much as I do. If we went to the gym now I’d say probably the same number as I shot in college* 96 or 97 out of 100. I still workout almost every day.

*During his time as manager of the team Ian once rebounded for Tyler and recalls he hit 99/100.

Q.  Looking back, are you happy with your decision to play for the Bonnies? What would you have changed if anything?

A.  I love St Bonaventure, I think it’s where God wanted be to be and become a man, and he always has a plan. My biggest regrets, was #1 being immature and thinking I was better than I was when I came in. I got injured and stopped working out and doing what made me successful when I was young. So I will always regret those two years wasted not working hard.

Q.  I see that you are now a father? How’s that? Has he shown any early signs of your ‘handles?’

A.  Haha I am a father to a beautiful son, Theo! It’s the most rewarding thing in the world and I’m blessed that I have to opportunity to be a father. He is 20 months and he actually has had a ball in his hands since he was born. He shoots on his little tikes hoop and can probably make 15-20 in a row so I’d say right now he’s a shooter!

Q.  Where is Tyler Relph in 10 years?

A.  10 years from now I will be in basketball at some capacity. Either in skills or coaching. I wanted to be in the NBA on the development or coaching side, but after having a son in 10 years I just want to be there at his games to support him.

Q.  Do you still follow (watch) the Bonnies? Assuming the answer is “YES!” What are your expectations for the remainder of the season? Can this team make a run in Brooklyn?

A.  I follow Bonnies religiously and still talk to Posley and Dion. The only time I check my phone during skills is when Bonnies are playing. This team has exceeded everyone’s expectations. I think with the right match ups (and you always need some luck) we have a chance to win the A10’s in Brooklyn. Either way as a former player and alum these guys have had a great season and Coach Schmidt should be up for not only A10 Coach of Year but National, I think he’s that good.

To check out Relph’s website/training business click here. 











Categories: Editorial

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