Lindsay Scarlatelli: Director of Operations, Miami of Ohio

Lindsay Scarlatelli

Director of Basketball Operations: Miami of Ohio

Lindsay began her coaching path as a Graduate Assistant at Michigan State and then made her way to University Illinois Chicago where she was first a Director of Operations and then an Assistant Coach. From there she became an Assistant Coach at Oakland where she helped build a top-notch recruiting class. 

Atypical point of entry

While most people have the notion that you have to play college basketball in order to coach it, Lindsay Scarlatelli is yet another coach out to prove them wrong! At Oakland she was a member of the Women’s Golf Team and was involved with the Women’s Basketball Team as a student manager. As a manager she learned the in’s and out’s of the program and was a part of the daily managing operations. She has also spent time as an evaluator and supervisor for both the USJN and Blue Star Basketball. This allowed her to surround herself with basketball while meeting and connecting with coaches. Her actual break through into the coaching world came from being at the right place at the right time as she worked a check-in table at an AAU tournament and met a coach that was searching for a director of operations just like herself! The Coaching Assist loved hearing Lindsay’s story as a great reminder (and insight to aspiring coaches not yet in the business) that there are so many different paths into a coaching position if you are willing to work hard, meet people, and find a way.

Making the most of a Graduate Assistantship

While at Michigan State, Lindsay was sure to do everything possible to continue to grow. She constantly looked for tasks and responsibilities that would allow her to develop skills to add to her tool box. In her spare time she’d watch film, design mail outs, and constantly find new ways to expand her role and be as involved as possible. One of her biggest tasks was organizing the Kids Ball Club, consisting of over 500 kids. The more diverse experiences you have, the more marketable you become! MSU had a two-year program that enabled her to spend her first year learning the administrative side and then her second year immersed into the basketball side. She is grateful for the opportunity MSU gave her to see multiple aspect of what a career in athletics can entail. In regards to her Graduate Assistantship and advice to others Lindsay suggests, “…make it a point to sit down with an assistant once a week. Learn areas that you can improve upon and where your strengths are. Always ask, What can I do for you?”

Learn Learn Learn!

It is clear that Lindsay values professional development and learning as much as she can about the game of basketball. Below are some bits of advice from her on preparing for a career in coaching:

  1. Don’t get caught up in the title of your position. Even as a DOBO, you can still spend time watching film, sitting in on meetings, and surrounding yourself with basketball. Focus on areas that you can help!
  2. Go to clinics! Clinics and professional development seminars are a great way to learn about a variety of topics from offensive and defensive strategies to culture building and leadership.
    1. “Invest in yourself.” She specifically makes it a point to set aside money from her pay check that goes directly towards professional development!
  3. Take notes on absolutely everything you can. You may never need some of them, but you’ll thank yourself when you come across the ones you do want to read again! Learn from your experiences wherever you go: What do you like? What would you have done differently? What did you learn in the staff meetings? How were staff meetings run?
  4. Utilize the resources around you. Ask questions and seek feedback from your assistant coaches. As well, if you are a Graduate Assistant, learn how to do a budget from your DOBO. If your next position is a DOBO and you need to run the budget you want to be prepared.
  5. Block out time to learn. Every day Lindsay aims to set aside time to devote to an area she thinks needs to improve upon in her personal coaching skill set.
    1. One day it might be a DVD on guard development while another it might be reading about team culture. Culture is a critical part of any program’s foundation and if she had to pick an area that she emphasizes more than others (although all are important), it would be team culture. Sustained success starts with culture, followed by the X’s and O’s.
    2. Setting up Google Alerts can help you stay up to date on people or programs you look up to and want to learn from as well.

Find ways to do more

One way to stand out is to show initiative. Give yourself a voice and share ideas with your peers. For example, Lindsay studied efficiency ratings and as something she believed could be beneficial, helped develop one specifically with her program in mind. Additionally, she invested time into learning how to create eye-catching graphics for social media, earning her the “graphics nerd” title among her team. Get involved in anything that can help your program!

Stay connected

  1. Stay in touch with anyone that you come in touch with. You never know when you’ll cross paths again.
  2. Never “big-time” anyone. Who someone is now is not necessarily who they will be in ten years. Keep your focus on how you can help others, not the other way around.
  3. Handwriting notes is a lost art. Lindsay has saved every handwritten note she’s received.
  4. Always thank the people who have helped you.

“I’ve learned from others that if you want to be successful, help someone else be successful.”

Follow Lindsay on Twitter! @LindsayScar34

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