This week, while going through my normal duties, looking through thousands of pieces of content, one thing stood out. I saved it for Christmas morning because you deserve a calming and warm story on the most peaceful day of the year. You deserve to start your day with Boise State basketball coach Leon Rice’s dog, Stella, enjoying her life as a college basketball dog whose job it is to check in on the players and wag her tail.
Rice has had dogs around him and the Boise program for a number of years, but Stella is becoming somewhat of a star, as she gets more attention from the networks. The story goes that Rice brings Stella with him to work every day, and she sticks around for practice.
.@BroncoSportsMBB have a very special coach/assistant you can find at practice and in the huddle at timeouts. Her name is Stella and she even has her own seat in the stands. pic.twitter.com/lAIlDVZjAh
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) December 24, 2020
“There’s a loyalty and an unconditional love. There’s just something special about the way they are every day,” Rice told the Idaho Statesman in 2016, adding that he plans run a doggie daycare or work for the Humane Society when his coaching days are over.
“You can go away for 20 minutes, and they’ll act like they haven’t seen you for two years. I think there’s a lot to be learned from a dog.”
Rice, who took over Boise in 2010 after serving as an assistant at Gonzaga, just might be onto something by having a dog around. He’s won 20-plus games eight times, and Boise has been to two NCAA Tournaments since he took over. This year’s team is off to a 6-1 start.
Rice is such a dog guy that he celebrates his birthday with puppies. Are you kidding me? This guy should be on the radar of every Tom Rinaldi out there, looking for a special interest story. We deserve more stories like Leon Rice and dogs in our lives.
There's only one way to throw a surprise birthday party for Leon Rice: Puppies! pic.twitter.com/wGf6TUahot
— Boise State MBB (@BroncoSportsMBB) November 24, 2016