Directors of operations, other team staff work as unsung heroes

Angel Whetstone was recently named the director of operations for the women's basketball team. Directors of operations may be responsible for a variety of things including scheduling and team management.

With women’s basketball recently announcing its new director of operations, sports fans may wonder exactly what this position does.

“Our director of operations does a little bit of everything, he does everything from organizing the day-to-day schedule, to gym time, to lifting time, to making sure the guys get to their appointments and also organizing scouting,” Men’s Basketball Head Coach Brian Barone said.

Colin Schneider, men’s basketball director of operations, is also sometimes in charge of booking travel arrangements and keeping those plans in check. According to Barone, Schneider makes sure the program is successful each day. However, not all teams have a director of operations. Derek Burton, SIUE women’s soccer head coach, said they do not need one because they have many people on staff who split the work.

“The director of operations can cover a wide area of things. We don’t really need one necessarily; we have three full-time coaches for our team and team managers. Typically, what you would see in a director of operations role, we all handle as a staff,” Burton said.

All the behind the scenes roles don’t just go to the director of operations, Barone said. The men’s basketball team has assistant coaches and graduate assistant Jacob Whitehead, who is also in charge of making sure the team has a thoroughly planned day. Burton said the assistant coaches handle the bus schedule for the women’s soccer team.

“Morgan Betscher, one of our assistant coaches on staff, handles all of the hotel arrangements, reservations, bookings and payments. Our buses are coordinated between us obviously ... Within our department the bus schedule is made because the department owns three of their own buses, so it’s scheduled through the athletic department,” Burton said.

On the men’s soccer team, Assistant Coach Matthew Cannady is in charge of booking hotels and transportation. 

“In the department, I work with a few administrators to make sure where we are going and what hotel we are staying at. That is approved from an administration level … We have administrators who help by pointing me in the right direction with which hotel we should stay at. Our administration also helps us with reserving charter buses so that we can transport our travel party to and from games. I think it’s a very good team effort,” Cannady said.

Barone said it’s not just about splitting up the work to make things easier on the organization, but having the right people who are capable enough to do the task is what makes the planning manageable. 

“The more capable people you have, it obviously allows your focus to be in other areas when you’re coaching. Just because you have more people doesn’t necessarily mean the jobs get done. You have to have the right people in certain positions, and fortunately I do,” Barone said. 

To read about Angel Whetstone, the women’s basketball director of operations, visit women’s basketball’s webpage. For other matters, visit the athletics website.

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