The director of basketball operations is an administration position that started to become common in college athletics after 1980. The director of basketball operations will usually have a regular set of required duties but also takes care of whatever is needed at any given moment for the program to keep functioning.
The director of basketball operations must have experience in the game of basketball either as a former player or team manager. The position requires a bachelors degree in almost all cases to work at the collegiate level and most high school levels. The applicant must also have a strong basketball network of coaches, administrators and assistants. While the position doesn't directly fall under the coaching staff, it essentially is a branch of the coaching staff and is often hired directly by the head basketball coach. Therefore it's necessary to have strong relationships and an even stronger reputation within the world of basketball coaches in order to be considered for the position.
The director of basketball operations is responsible for the daily assistance of the program (basketball team) for which they work. The description is vague in nature because of the various responsibilities that can and do fall under the director of basketball operations authority. Most listings for the job will include assisting in scheduling, equipment ordering, camp planning and programing, marketing and sponsor finding and community service. The job requires night, weekend and holiday work as well as travel. Ultimately the position also serves as a catch all for the coaching staff to have assistance in whatever area they may need it except on the court. On the college level, the NCAA strictly prohibits the director of basketball operations from coaching, assisting in coaching or recruiting.
At the collegiate level the work place will include the athletic offices, the practice facility, the home arena, the team bus and plane, and the hotel the teams stay in while traveling. It is an environment filled with athletes and coaches, as well as college administrators and fans. It also comes with a responsibility of acting as representative of the university in each location and with each person with whom the director interacts. At the high school level the job is mostly done at the high school athletic offices and at the gym when the team practices and plays its games. There is some travel but it is mostly done with minimal if any overnight responsibilities.
The salary for a director of basketball operations varies by the school or program. Top level programs do not always have the best pay though. As of 2010, the salary was expected to be between $28,000 to $35,000 on average. But while the salary isn't extremely high most colleges offer a program that allows employees to further their education for free while working for the school. Therefore, if the director of basketball operations makes full use of his opportunity he could earn his masters degree at no cost.
The job market for Directors of Basketball Operations fluctuates as college and high school programs grow. But even as opportunities are created, the job is often earmarked for someone before its even announced. This position is often gained through connections in the basketball coaching world through recommendations or first hand experience with the coach or the coaching staff.