USF Bulls men's basketball coach Stan Heath has made a switch among his assistants, with director of basketball operations Andy Hipsher being promoted to one of his three assistants and Reggie Hanson moving into Hipsher's old position, which does not involve off-campus recruiting or on-court coaching.
"I don't look at this as a negative. From the outside, it looks like 'What's going on?'" Heath said by phone while scouting recruits Thursday. "I'm excited about the dynamic of my coaching staff for this season. I think I have the right pieces in the right places."
Hipsher, the son of former USF assistant Dan Hipsher, is out on the road recruiting this week, but Heath said that wasn't the impetus for the change. Hipsher, who is single, has more time to spend working with players on the courts of USF's new Muma Center practice facility. "I want him to live in the gym, morning, noon and night," Heath said.
Hanson, who has been on Heath's staff since he came to USF in 2007, will still be involved in recruiting on campus, especially during official visits, Heath said. He thinks of the moves as a reorganization, and that's reflected in the fact that neither coach will have a change in salary despite their new positions.
Hanson will make $101,500, which USF says is the same salary he carried last season -- in response to a public-records request, USF had identified Hanson's salary as $115,000 in July 2010, but USF was adamant Thursday his salary had not changed. Hipsher will make the same $65,000 he made last season in his second year as director of operations. Heath's other two assistants, Steve Roccaforte and Eric Skeeters, will make $135,000 and $115,000 respectively in 2011-12.
Hanson, 42, is a former Kentucky standout whose daughter Tesha is a promising basketball recruit who led Hillsborough County in scoring this past season. Hipsher played collegiately at Akron and was an assistant at Western Michigan before joining Heath's staff in 2009.
It's been an offseason of significant change for USF basketball if only from a facilities standpoint -- construction will wrap up this month on the Muma Center, and a $35 million renovation of the Sun Dome is underway, a project that will likely have the Bulls playing all their home games off-campus this season. The Bulls are expected to open the season with an exhibition at the University of Tampa against the D-II Spartans, with more games possibly at the Bob Martinez Center but most likely at the St. Pete Times Forum downtown. USF is also likely to play one game at the Lakeland Center in November against D-II Florida Southern.