May is almost over and Coach McFerrin has been on staff for just over a month now. Speaking of staff, she rounded out her staff with the addition of Tempie Brown (Northwestern) and Danielle O'Banion (Minnesota) in the past week and now has just one spot remaining to fill -- the team's Director of Basketball Operations spot.
Since a lot of folks ask me this question, the Director of Basketball Operations (DBO) for the women's basketball team is kind of our team's traveling secretary. He/she makes sure that Lou Strasberg with Travelennium gets our schedule prior to each season. From there, Lou books hotels and flights and it becomes the DBO's job to make sure the team gets to the airport/gym on time and to get the team checked in and out of hotels once we arrive. On the road, the DBO also coordinates all the meals, whether it's finding a restaurant to eat out at or arranging for pre-game meals in the hotels we stay at...it's a busy, busy job. He/she also has to make sure that we pack everything that the coaching staff may need during the game (wipeboards, markers, water bottles, cough drops, gum, it's an endless list sometimes).
The DBO also oversees our student managers, of which we currently have three great managers -- John Nunnery, Ashley Snyder and Cornelius Sullivan. In pre-season, that foursome handles everything from uniforms and shoes getting ordered and logged in to the inventory to doing the team's laundry (both at home and on the road...we have some student managers who can probably tell you the location of laundrymats in a variety of cities across the country!). Once the team is in town and practicing, the DBO and the student managers arrive early to set the gym up for practice, run the clock during practice and keep any stats/video required, then break down practice in order for the Tiger volleyball team to get ready for their respective practices. The Elma Roane Fieldhouse is a pretty busy place from about noon to 6 p.m. on non-game days.
So, that's the short list on what the final piece of the coaching staff puzzle will possibly be doing. With each coaching staff, the duties vary a little, but in general, that's how that position has worked in the past. So the next time you meet the team's Director of Basketball Operations, be sure to thank them for keeping our travel party in line. We are a group of about 25 folks when we are on the road and keeping us all moving in one direction is quite the challenge!
P.S. -- Speaking of student managers...congratulations to former student manager Toby Bush. Toby was a student manager with women's basketball during his undergraduate and graduate career before joining former assistant coach Brenda Welch-Nichols staff at Mercer. Last year, he was the head coach at Neosho Community College in Kansas, but will be back closer to home after getting the women's head coaching job at Pearl River Community College a couple of weeks ago. Congrats!