From Student to Staff
Director of Basketball Operations Dan Sheets reflects on his seven years at Saint Mary’s
By Kiera O’Hara-Heinz
For the past seven years, a familiar face has been around the Saint Mary’s athletic department. Dan Sheets has been a fixture of the Saint Mary’s men’s basketball team, first as a student and now as a staff member. Starting with the team as a freshman in 2015, Sheets has worked his way up the chain from player to graduate assistant to his current position as Director of Basketball Operations and is well on his way to his ultimate career goal of becoming a coach of a college basketball team.
As Director of Operations, Sheets oversees the day-to-day operations of the men’s basketball team. Taking care of things like travel, housing, and finances, Sheets describes his job as making sure everything runs smoothly and doing what he can to help the team improve. He is extremely grateful for his position and the opportunities his time at SMC has provided for him thus far. He recognizes that being the Director of Basketball Operations is not an easy position to land and that having this position at such a young age gives him a good advantage for his career.
“There are more than 350 division one schools. Each of them only has one operations guy and maybe an operations assistant. There are not that many of these jobs and to get this job at such a young age, Saint Mary's has put me in a really good position here” Sheets says.
Sheets studied kinesiology at both an undergraduate and a graduate level and believes he uses his degrees during his work every day.
“I think that I really apply it constantly, kind of subconsciously. Because of COVID, I am constantly thinking about testing and how my sports law classes I took as a kinies [kinesiology] major apply to the legal and physical aspects of coronavirus testing,” Sheets said. “I am also constantly applying motor performances, which was one of the most entertaining classes I took. I use my major all the time, and I am grateful I took the classes I did.”
Having spent the last seven years at Saint Mary’s, Sheets says that the people are what make SMC special and are what encourage alumni to stay connected. One person who has made a significant impression on Sheets is Coach Bennet, whom Sheets hopes to be like in the future.
“I think the ultimate goal would be to be in a place for a long period of time like Coach Bennett has been. What he's done has been really cool. And I mean to have this sort of impact on the school in our program like he has done it's special” Sheets says.
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