EMMITSBURG, Md. (WDVM) – If you google “what does a director of basketball operations do?,” you’ll get a nice answer about “assisting the team with daily activities,” but in reality, “DOBOs” as they are called, are responsible for everything but actually coaching the team – though some even do that too.
“The easiest way to describe being a DOBO is making sure that the players and coaches don’t need anything,” said Mount St. Mary’s men’s basketball Director of Basketball Operations, Jeremy Freeman. “We are everything from meals, to flights, to practice scheduling, to keeping up with the players.”
That’s a tireless job as it is, let alone during a pandemic stricken season, when plans can change on a dime.
Freeman recalled a time this season when the team was seven hours into an eight hour bus ride when they got word that their game “might” be cancelled.
“All the guys were fine and happy on the bus,” explained Freeman in a way that suggested he might have a chance to relax for a moment. “We get to the hotel. We start watching film…two minutes into watching film – ‘Hey guys the game got cancelled.'”
The work of his past few days preparing for that trip dismantled by one phone call, with new plans needing to made in a matter of hours.
Luckily he has help from graduate assistant, Clark Sloyer.
“Jeremy is very poised and confident in what he does,” said Sloyer. “He doesn’t ever get too high or too low. He’s very relaxed and in the moment, and doesn’t get stressed out when a situation doesn’t go the way it’s supposed to go.”
DOBO’s are also the bridge between players and coaches when it comes to things off the court, and in a year when some players are having a hard time being isolated from friends and family, that relationship is paramount.
“Some guys are going to tell you that they’re fine when they’re not fine,” explained Freeman. “They might just need to talk to somebody from back home when they are at a break and they feel like they’re kind of trapped at school, and then other guys – when they say they’re fine, then you leave them alone.”
During this pandemic, many have made reference to the movie Groundhog’s day – living the same thing over and over because there is simply nothing else to do. Athletes are back on campus but they are under strict protocols that don’t allow them to visit friends in other dorms, or go out to eat or anything else typical college students would do in their spare time. Freeman and the rest of the Mount coaching staff is considerate of that, and have tried to implement things into their time with the team to try and lighten the mood.
“Maybe sometimes it’s just playing a game of dodge ball at the beginning of practice, or just something different like a free throw competition – something different than the same process everyday.”
Mount’s head coach, Dan Engelstad, has often preached “control what we can control,” to his team when talking about the obstacles this season has presented, but maybe there should be another line to that that says “the rest Coach Freeman will take care of.”
“Our head coach, coach Dan, does a great job of telling the guys that we’re just fortunate to play,” said Freeman. “There’s a lot of schools that aren’t playing. We’ll take the obstacles and roll with the punches and just be happy and grateful that we’re playing.”
The Mount St. Mary’s men’s basketball secured the 4th seed in the NEC tournament and play Saturday, March 6th on the road at Wagner at 2 p.m.