Extra Questions with Andrew Theokas, Director of Men’s Basketball Operations

Brad Stephens

Andrew Theokas was named director of men’s basketball operations on Sept. 23. Theokas, who spent last season as head coach at Marlboro (N.J.) High School, is filling the position vacated in July by the departure of Anthony Winchester. Theokas’ college coaching career has included stints as an assistant at Rider, Massachusetts and, most recently, Columbia. The Herald sat down with Theokas to find out how he was getting used to the new job.

Q. How were you first approached for the position?

A. Coach (Ken McDonald) and I have a relationship that goes back about 10 years to when he was an assistant here ,and I was working at UMass. We got to know each other through recruiting circles and became friends. We stayed in touch, and he contacted me about coming here to work with him. I was flattered and really excited about the prospect of coming here to Bowling Green, because WKU is a very special place.

Q. Was it a culture shock for someone who’s spent his whole career in the Northeast to move to Bowling Green?

A. It wasn’t much of a culture shock. I’ve had the opportunity through basketball to travel to 43 out of the 50 states and a lot of different countries out on the road. I’ve been to the South and to Kentucky before, and the pace of life here is different, but the people are wonderful. I don’t know if I shock people, but they don’t shock me.

Q. What are your day-to-day responsibilities?

A. My day-to-day responsibilities are to facilitate the efficiency of the office and be a liaison between administration and the basketball office. That could mean academics, budgetary, the marketing office or the athletic communications office. My job is to facilitate all the communication that comes in between these two offices. And my job is to help the coaches and the players on this team have a better experience and have a better process throughout the whole year.

Q. This year, WKU’s schedule includes games against traditional powers like South Carolina, Vanderbilt, and Memphis. Will you do any work with future schedules?

A. Obviously that’s something that goes about a year in advance, so I think we’re going to start working on the 2011-2012 schedule in the not too distant future. I’m sure I’ll have a hand in that. I almost fell over when I saw our schedule for the first time. But it’s a great thing. Coach Mac has got a philosophy to play the best in the country. I think that’s the right philosophy for this program.

Q. Your father, Charles Theokas, served as Athletic Director at Temple University. Did you develop a relationship with legendary Temple coach John Chaney, and what lessons did you learn from him?

A. I’m blessed to have a great relationship with Coach Chaney. You had to get up early in the morning to go to Coach Chaney’s 5:30 practices, but in high school I did it a lot. Coach was really instrumental in helping me get my first coaching job and has been a mentor for me. The thing about Coach Chaney that struck me was his absolute and complete belief in what he was doing and how he was doing it. He said, “This is how we’re going to win,” and his record (516-253 at Temple) definitely speaks for itself. I learned a lot about the 1-3-1 zone from watching his teams play. It wasn’t always pretty to watch, but it was effective. The guy knew what he wanted, and he knew how he wanted to go about doing it.