Few people may know about the cog that keeps the Butler men’s basketball program running smoothly: the managers.
The managers have a myriad of duties. They show up to practices and games 45 to 90 minutes beforehand to fill water bottles, Gatorade tubs and ice chests. They are also in charge of restocking towels and basketballs, setting up the clocks and, on game nights, preparing the visitor’s locker room and setting up the benches.
Afterward, their duties include logging and organizing game film, rebounding for players and sweeping the court.
“They [work as managers] because they want to do it and love to do it,” said T.J. Saint, coordinator of basketball operations.
Many of the managers get involved because it is a good way to get into coaching, Saint said. The managers are exposed to servant leadership immediately, and it is a good way to create contacts.
There are currently eight student managers for the program. When Saint and the rest of the coaching staff select the managers, there is one quality in particular they are looking for: they have to know basketball.
Despite having so many responsibilities, the managers’ efforts often go unnoticed to the average fan, the only compensation they receive is in experience.
The long road trips and the lack of pay were not reasons why sophomore Brad Parish, first-year student manager, decided to become a manager.
“I became a manager because I had a strong interest in basketball,” Parish said. “It’s cool to be behind the scenes, and it is cool to see what other people do not see.”
Parish said the lack of compensation was not his least favorite part of the job.
“Before the season starts there are early workouts. We have to be there at 5 a.m.,” Parish said. “It is not bad, but waking up early is always kind of (difficult).”
Parish said by going from a fan in the stands to a manager behind the scenes, he has a different view of the game and how much goes into each day.
“At first it was eye opening,” Parish said. “I did not realize what went into all of the games and how the team prepares for upcoming games. We played Creighton twice and I got to see how they played Doug McDermott, so it was interesting to see how they gameplan for him and how they were going to stop him offensively.”
“We like to think we make practice go a little smoother, a little more efficiently,” Parish said.
The coaching staff agrees that the managers’ background work helps the coaches do their jobs better. Not having to worry about setting practice up helps the coaches focus totally on basketball, Saint said.
“They are like extra coaches, and it makes things easier and realistic in drills,” Saint said.
Saint said that among the tasks done by the managers, the logging and organization of film is extremely helpful.
“The managers keep everything in line,” said senior forward Khyle Marshall. “They are very efficient and detailed with their assignments, and those details help us make sure that we are the best we could possibly be.”
Not all managers travel to each road game. They have a rotation to determine which manager travels to which game.
Parish said allocating time for homework and other personal responsibilities on top of managerial duties can be overwhelming at times.
“It was difficult at first because it was a lot to handle, but when you start to learn your routine, it is easier to work around it,“ Parish said
Even if those outside the program do not recognize all of the hard work that the managers do, those on the inside acknowledge their efforts .
“They are very important to our team and all of the things that they do are important, and we appreciate it,” Marshall said.