It isn’t too often that two co-workers can happily exchange jobs cleanly — especially when one of the positions is on a lower tier in prestige and pay scale.
Rainbow Wahine hoops coach Laura Beeman says she’s hit upon just such a situation on her coaching staff.
This offseason, assistant coach Wendy Anae and director of basketball operations Alex Delanian swapped jobs. Anae is now the UH women’s DOBO and Delanian is a full assistant. The DOBO typically operates more behind the scenes and isn’t allowed to coach on the court during practices like a full assistant would.
Beeman said Anae’s sacrifice lent a positive tone to team activities as the Wahine ramp up toward full practices for the 2014-15 season, which are a little more than a week off. Her other two assistants, Mary Wooley and Dekita Williams, are still on board in their previous capacities.
UH is attempting to build off consecutive 17-14 seasons with appearances in the WNIT.
“The coaching staff has fantastic energy,” Beeman said. “Everyone is all about the kids. All about just the program and what we need to do to be successful. And we all really feel like we’re in a situation to have something good this year, both off and on the court. The energy with the team is outstanding. They all like each other. The energy with the coaches and the players is one of mutual respect, and one of just great energy and enthusiasm. I can tell you without knocking the previous two years, this team just feels good, and I’m really, really excited. … I think that starts also from the transition of Wendy to our DOBO and the energy she brings to our program. I can’t put it into the right words.”
Anae had the full assistant tag for just one season with Beeman, but she is no stranger to coaching. She was Brigham Young-Hawaii’s first women’s basketball coach several years ago, then became the director of operations at BYU-Provo. She also has experience with the Samoan national team.
“It actually was kind of Wendy initiating that (job changing) conversation, that she loved the coaching but also loves being a director of ops, and that’s what she’d done previously (at BYU),” Beeman said. “She has such a gift with the community and such a gift with the ability to fundraise, and saw the need that our program has, and really has taken it upon herself to say, ‘Coach, let me do this. This is an area of need and I feel like I’m very good and very comfortable in that role.’ And so I felt it was a really selfless thing to do, to give up the coaching aspect to help where the program really needs it. She has been a rock star. She has been unbelievable with her ability to set up meetings and go talk to the community, and really just help our program out.”
The younger Delanian was waiting for his chance. He had put in time as a women’s DOBO at both USC and UH. He initially started with the Women of Troy as a member of the male practice squad, and worked his way up from there.
“Alex has always wanted to be on a coaching staff and get out of the director of ops role,” Beeman said. “So it kind of just worked itself out very seamlessly. He’s very excited, he’s doing a fantastic job and now he’s more in a coaching role aspect than he was allowed to do as a DOBO. His DOBO experience we can still use if we need to.
“Alex has a great basketball mind. He’s very, very good with technology, with our editing system. With our scouting system. With video he can cook up for the players that we can use for our social media. You know, he has a lot of areas of expertise that was limited because of his role as a DOBO. You just can’t do certain things. He loves recruiting. He loves to talk to players on the phone, and talk about his passion for the program and passion for Hawaii and the university.”
The coach said Delanian will likely use his newfound permission to coach on the court to mix it up in the paint with the UH players.
“My expectations are always the same — whether you’re a director of ops, a manager or a coach, you’re going to work hard and respect these young ladies and work as a team,” Beeman said. “Everyone knows your roles, get done what you’re supposed to get done and I’ll stay off your back. That’s really how I am; I’m not a micromanager. I just want you to do your job. You do that, you probably won’t hear anything bad from me.”
The Wahine open full practices on Monday, Oct. 6. Their Green & White season preview scrimmage at the Stan Sheriff Center is on Oct. 26, with an exhibition vs. Hawaii Hilo to follow three days later.