Mark Turgeon and Maryland completed their basketball staff Tuesday, hiring Nima Omidvar as the new director of basketball operations and giving Maryland a full staff for the first time since October. As Dustin Clark, Cliff Warren and now Omidvar have held the job (with the former two now promoted to assistant coaching positions), one question has remained constant among many Terp fans -- what exactly does the director of basketball operations do?
A large amount of the job is administrative work -- making sure the budget is in order, maintaining the daily schedule, working with Under Armour to order equiment and really anything else the head coach needs to help make the program run smoothly. The director of operations also helps maintain the academic side of things, and makes sure everything is a-okay on the compliance side of things.
Interview with a JuCo coach
Interview with a JuCo coach
Recruiting plays a big role, as well. While NCAA regulations prohibit the director of operations to recruit off-campus, they are allowed to recruit on-campus and are responsible for daily recruiting operations -- planning and coordinating visits (including how the prospect gets there and what they do when they arrive) and keeps a list of potential prospects.
There is one other notable restriction on the position -- they're not allowed to actively coach on the court during pre-season or post-season workouts or regular season practices. The director of operations can teach players through film study and learning the playbook, however, so they're not completely hands off with the players.
As Jan Bethea, director of operations at Nebraska, says, the position requires you to wear a lot of hats:
My day to day responsibility is to handle all speaking engagements for my head coach, speak with our team’s academic advisor to check on grade progress, handle all scheduling needs for visiting teams, schedule our games for upcoming season, monitor our incoming freshmen to make sure they have submitted in all their paperwork for admission and NCAA eligibility requirements, assist with our teams leadership session (once a week). I constantly work on team travel which consists of speaking with the bus companies, hotels, restaurants and other companies associated with our travel. I can go on and on but I’m not sure you have enough space for everything I do.
How does Omidvar fit in here for Maryland? It's pretty perfect, actually. He's an up-and-coming coaching prospect who is eager to show he has what it takes to succeed at this level. He graduated from Maryland and is clearly excited to return (just take a look at his Twitter account), and has a ton of local ties from his time with Paul VI, St. John's and Team Takeover. Due to the restrictions on off-campus recruitment, the director of operations position hamstrings any non-local ties. With a guy like Omidvar, his connections are as close to home as possible -- meaning recruits who can most easily visit College Park, where Omidvar can recruit them freely.
This also allows Warren, who has local connections but has spent significant time working in Georgia and Florida, to have less restrictions as a recruiter and, most importantly, as a mentor in practice. Warren is known as a guard guru of sorts, and freeing him from only teaching behind the scenes could see immediate dividends in the development of incoming blue-chip guards Melo Trimble and Dion Wiley.