Guess who’s back?
(91 victories, 2 NCAA Tournament appearances, 1 Final Four).
(Shaggy brown hair that never seemed to truly settle in one place).
(6th all-time scorer).
Tell a friend.
And tell them that Travis Diener, one of the most relentless competitors the school has ever witnessed, is coming back to Marquette. Not as a player, as many would’ve wished, but as a member of the coaching staff, specifically as the Director of Player Personnel.
While at Marquette, Diener accomplished numerous accolades alongside future NBA players Dwyane Wade and Steve Novak, most notably reaching the school’s first Final Four in 26 years. As stated previously, Diener finished his college career with 1,691 points, notching him as Marquette’s 6th all-time leading scorer. Diener is remembered as a fan favorite due to his growing up in Wisconsin, his ferocity on the court, and his continuing love for the Marquette basketball program.
After his playing days at Marquette had ended, Diener was picked in the second round of the NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic. He flip-flopped around the league as a replacement-level bench player until he signed with Dinamo Sassari, an Italian league team, where he shined for the last four years of his professional career. Diener led the team to an Italian League title in his last year, earning MVP of the series.
Diener’s hiring now completes a staff of six that includes five former college players, such as former Florida All-American Brett Nelson, 2000 ACC Player of the Year Chris Carrawell, elite defender and Duke icon Steve Wojciechowski, and former North Carolina State point guard Justin Gainey. Mark Phelps, although never a college player, was the head coach at Drake University and contributed as an assistant to numerous respected staffs, such as North Carolina State, Arizona State, and Missouri.
The duties of the Director of Player Personnel includes player evaluation, recruitment, player support, and generally working with the coaches and administration. Player evaluation means putting together scouting reports and forming opinions on certain players, ranging from high schoolers to potential transfers on other college teams. Recruiting obviously pertains to meeting with and convincing targeted high schoolers or potential transfers to attend Marquette. Player support regards to both non-basketball related student services (such as travel plans, compliance, housing, and legal matters) and strength or skill training, along with handling media coverage and new player orientation. As for working with the coaching staff and administration, the Director of Player Personnel usually helps identify areas of need and suggests recruits to fill these needs.
Considering these tasks, don’t expect Diener to be drawing up plays in the closing seconds of a tight game. Do, however, expect him to make a positive impact on both current and incoming players through these responsibilities, providing valuable insight from his playing days to improve the coaching staff and overall skill set of the team.
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