Earlier this week, Illinois head coach John Groce made a major announcement for the Illini and the future of the program when he announced that he had hired James Haring as the new director of basketball operations.
Haring brings quite a history to the program as he spent the last two years on the staff as a graduate manager. The role may not be one that fans know much about, but the Director of Basketball Operations deals with many of the behind the scenes issues for a program, including team travel, housing, weekly scheduling, and budget management.
Groce talked about the addition of Haring at length.
"We are thrilled to officially add James Haring to our program in a full-time capacity," Groce said. "He is a trusted member of our staff and a dedicated, tireless worker. James did an outstanding job serving our players and coaches as a graduate manager and is fully prepared to handle the many administrative duties involved with the day-to-day running of our program."
Haring also takes over the position with plenty of experience. He was formerly a student manager at West Virginia under Bob Huggins and served on event staffs for the LeBron James and Kevin Durant skills academies in the summer of 2013, and was named ProCamps Intern of the Year in the summer of 2012.
Along with that, Haring also has a local connection to Illinois and the school itself, coming out of New Lenox, Illinois. As a student, he attended West Virginia and got a master’s degree from Illinois.
There’s no debating that a Director of Basketball Operations won’t guarantee success on the floor, but it certainly has to be exciting to see a local and loyal guy to the program get a chance to move up.
As always, BTPowerhouse will keep you updated as this story develops.