Inside ACC Women's Basketball with Charlene Curtis: Behind The Scenes ... Who Makes It All Work?
Aug. 2, 2007
Have you ever wondered who are all the people dressed in street clothes on the team's bench? Some are coaches. One or two may be injured players. Others are sports medicine staff, often called athletic trainers and team doctors. One person may be the team's strength and conditioning coach. There may be a student manager or two keeping stats and giving out water and towels. One may be the team's equipment manager. But who are the others not dressed in uniforms?
According to NCAA rules and regulations, Division I women's and men's basketball programs are limited to four coaches who "participate (in any manner) in the coaching of the intercollegiate team in practice, games or organized activities directly related to that sport, including any organized staff activity directly related to the sport." So who are the other people who occupy space in the women's basketball office and on the team bench?
Those in the collegiate basketball arena fondly call these people DOBOs, i.e. Directors of Basketball Operations. The DOBO position is relatively new to collegiate athletics. Most programs had some type of administrative assistant, secretary, or graduate assistant who handled the non-coaching administrative-type duties. The Director of Basketball Operations position was created as a result of the demands and expectations of Division I basketball.
Let's meet five of the ACC's Directors of Basketball Operations
What are their roles and responsibilities?
In the past, these responsibilities were filled by the coaching staff. Now, coaches are able to "shift their focus to recruiting, player development, and game coaching," says Maryland's Wierzba.
Jameson says she has the "best of both worlds." As a former coach, Jameson says she enjoys her involvement with the team. She enjoys organizing and planning and believes she is still "a difference maker" in the Hokies program even though she is not on the court actually coaching the team. Jameson gets her "basketball fix" in the summer organizing and running the summer camps.
Queen echoes Sander's sentiments about her value as a former player for her university. Queen "knows the challenges (academic, athletic, and cultural) of being a student-athlete." She explains, "I know the environment. I understand the temptations and the opportunities that the student-athlete faces. And I see myself as a role model."
So, whether it is arranging charter flights, buses, hotels and meals for team travel, supervising team managers, double-checking study hall attendance, speaking to booster club members and alumni, or organizing and running summer camps, Directors of Basketball Operations perform an important role for ACC women's basketball programs. They may work behind the scenes, but in reality DOBOs ensure that the day-to-day operations of a basketball program are performed seamlessly - like a well-executed fast break.
Charlene Curtis is a women's basketball analyst for Fox Sports Net and ESPNU. She is a former head coach at Wake Forest, Temple, and Radford and was an assistant at Virginia, Georgetown, and Connecticut. She also served as an assistant with the WNBA's Charlotte Sting and several USA Basketball Teams. When not analyzing the game, Curtis can be found instructing future collegiate players on the hardwood.
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