Yesterday, Marquette and head men's basketball coach Steve Wojciechowski announced an addition to the coaching staff, as Travis Diener was named Director of Player Personnel.
For you youngsters out there, Diener was the sophomore point guard on Marquette's Final Four team in 2003, and by the time his Marquette career was cut short by a broken hand in 2005, Diener had the third most career points in Marquette history. Diener's 1,691 points trailed only Butch Lee at 1,735 and George Thompson at 1,773. Diener missed the final three regular season games and with the guarantee of at least one Conference USA tournament game and a per game average of 19.3 points per game, Diener would have been right on pace to surpass Thompson's record had he not been injured. Diener is also one of just three MU players to surpass the 600 assist plateau, and just the second one to ever do it, having been supplanted as the #2 all time passer by Dominic James.
While Diener will not be able to run practices on his own or assist in recruit players off campus, his presence gives Wojciechowski a significant presence within the basketball scene in the state of Wisconsin. Travis' uncle Dick was his coach in high school, while another uncle, Tom, now the coach at Cedarburg, won five state championships while coaching Milwaukee Vincent. In addition to that, Diener also tosses one more log on the fire to attract guards to come play at Marquette.
The staff of Wojciechowski, Chris Carrawell, Brett Nelson, Justin Gainey, and Diener provides 6,000 points, 2,000 assists and 700 steals worth of college basketball experience. If you're a high school backcourt player and you can't get excited about the idea of coming to learn from that group of guys, I don't know what to tell you.
Diener ends his professional basketball career on a high note, with his Italian pro team, Dinamo Sassari, winning the 2014 Italian Basketball Cup in February and Diener winning MVP honors. Diener is the second member of the 2003 Final Four team to return to Marquette as an employee recently, as Scott Merritt was hired as an assistant coach by new women's basketball head coach Carolyn Kieger.