Needing to replace the departed Tim O’Toole, who accepted an assistant coaching spot on Johnny Dawkins’ staff at Stanford, Syracuse is bringing back a familiar face to serve as the program’s director of basketball operations.
On Friday the school announced the hiring of Kip Wellman, who was a graduate assistant at the school from 2005 to 2009. Wellman, who spent last season away from college basketball, spent time at Western Kentucky as that program’s director of player development before being promoted to assistant coach in 2010.
Wellman’s responsibilities at Syracuse will include coordinating the team’s travel plans, coordinating recruiting visits and assisting in the running of the program’s summer basketball camps. During his time as a grad assistant at Syracuse, one of Wellman’s responsibilities was the running of the program’s Elite Camp.
Those camps have grown in importance in recent years, as they allow schools to invite some of their most important recruiting targets while also giving the campers a first-hand look at the facilities (and also the experience of working with the men who could end up being their coaches in college).
The Orange will begin practice in preparation for their summer trip to Canada on August 15, with the traveling party scheduled to leave for Montreal on August 20. Syracuse, which has to account for the departure of key contributors Michael Carter-Williams, Brandon Triche and James Southerland, will play four games on the trip (two in Montreal, followed by two in Ottawa) before returning on August 25.
Syracuse won’t lack for returning experience (or talent) however, as senior forward C.J. Fair leads a group that will look to return to the Final Four after falling to Michigan in the national semifinals.
The Orange also add one of the nation’s best recruiting classes, with point guard Tyler Ennis being the most important piece of the puzzle due to the departures of Carter-Williams and Triche.