Towson basketball announces staff changes

June 28, 2012 | WNST Staff

TOWSON, Md. – Towson University head men’s basketball coach Pat Skerry has announced that Patrick O’Connell will join his staff as Director of Student-Athlete Development and Michael Swets has been promoted to Director of Basketball Operations.

Swets, who served as the Director of Student-Athlete Development for the Tigers last season, replaces Duane Simpkins as the Director of Basketball Operations. Simpkins recently accepted an assistant coaching position at UNC Greensboro.

“We are pleased to promote Michael to Director of Basketball Operations,” said Skerry. “He’s an extremely intelligent guy and his loyalty and work ethic will be a great fit for this position.”

Swets came to Towson from Providence College where he served as a graduate assistant from 2009-11. At Providence, he was responsible for breakdown of game and practice footage for player development and opponent scouting. Swets also coordinated film exchange and assisted with scheduling. He also performed similar duties at Towson last year.

A graduate of Boston College, Swets served as a student manager for the basketball program for two years before being named head manager as a senior. As a student manager, he assisted the staff during games, practices and individual workouts while performing daily administrative duties. He helped BC advance to two NCAA Tournaments (2007 and 2009). Swets also worked with film exchange and film breakdown, providing the staff with advanced film edits of upcoming opponents. As a senior, he received the Mary Kay Waldron Award as the support staff member who best exemplifies inspiration, loyalty and unwavering dedication to the Boston College Basketball program.

Swets earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Boston College in marketing, information systems and management leadership in 2009, graduating magna cum laude. He also received the Athletic Director’s Award for Academic Achievement. Swets earned his MBA from Providence in 2011.

A Baltimore native and a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, O’Connell was a four-year standout for the Blue Jays’ basketball team. He was a member of the 2007 Centennial Conference championship team that went 24-5. He was named team captain and earned all-conference honors in 2010. A first team All-Baltimore Catholic League guard at Loyola High School, O’Connell stands second all-time in career steals at Hopkins.

O’Connell has spent the last two seasons as a graduate assistant at Florida State. He assisted 2012 ACC Coach of the Year Leonard Hamilton and his staff with both practices and individual workouts.

“Pat O’Connell is very intelligent and we’re excited to get him back home,” said Skerry. “Coach Hamilton raved about him being his right hand guy handling game-day operations the last few years at Florida State. Obviously that means a lot. He’s a great worker who has a significant future in coaching.”

At Florida State, O’Connell played a pivotal role in advance scouting, film breakdown and certain aspects of recruiting.

“Pat O’Connell is an outstanding addition to Pat Skerry’s staff at Towson,” said Hamilton. “Because Pat (O’Connell) immersed himself in so many different aspects of our program here at Florida State, he has put himself in a great position to be successful at Towson.  What he has learned in two years as a member of our staff will go a long way to helping him as he continues his career on the Division I level.

“Pat is a very mature person who always puts the success of our team and the players on our team above everything,” he added. “We are happy for Pat  but sad to see him leave us because he was an important part of our staff and helped Florida State win its first ever ACC Championship and play in two NCAA Tournaments.”

O’Connell earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Business Management from Hopkins in 2010. He obtained his Master of Science in Sports Management from Florida State in May of 2012.