What’s old is new for MU basketball this season: Golden Eagles standout Travis Diener back on campus
MILWAUKEE (WITI) — What’s old is new for Marquette University basketball this season. Travis Diener, a former Golden Eagles standout, is back on campus — working with the new coaching staff.
Golden Eagles Head Coach Steve Wojciechowski is the highest-profile new face on the Marquette bench this season, but in MU lore, one of his staff additions, Travis Diener, takes a back seat to no one. Together, they symbolize where the program and the school are.
“With all the new faces, with Coach Wojo, if you walk around campus — for me, there’s a lot of new buildings. I walk around ‘The Al,’ there’s new locker rooms and things like that, so that’s different, but the one thing that stays the same is Marquette basketball will never change. The players will change. They come and they go, but no matter what, this program isn’t about one person, one coach, one player, one great player. It’s about tradition,” Diener said.
Diener is a big part of that tradition — standing sixth on the all-time scoring list and third on the all-time assists list. Along with Dwayne Wade, Steve Novak and others, he drove Marquette to the 2003 Final Four.
“We had such a close group. It was very special. When people come up to me and talk about the Final Four, it means a lot,” Diener said.
It means the current Golden Eagles might pay a little more attention to what Diener says. After all, he was in the NBA for five seasons before also playing professionally overseas, and he’s not alone. MU’s staff is loaded with bit time on-court experience.
“When I was there age, and they had a staff that guys had played at the highest level, it’s instant credibility. Whether that’s right or wrong, that’s the way it is, and that’s the way I would have been too. For instance, if Doc Rivers were to talk into one of my practices and he was talking, you know, I’m going to listen. I’m not saying I’m Doc Rivers, but…” Diener said.
When Diener was ready to give up on the playing part of his basketball career, it was very easy to decide where to go for the next part of his basketball career — right back to where he used to be, Marquette University. He’s serving as MU’s Director of Player Personnel.
“This school means a lot to me and my wife, who also went here, so just an exciting time, and an exciting time for the program too with Coach Wojo, and I think it’s an exciting time to be here,” Diener said.
As for his role with the team, Diener says: “I keep getting asked that, and I guess it’s — I like to say I do a little bit of everything.”
Diener’s position involves talking with the current players as well as on-campus recruiting. He comes from a coaching family and is now squarely on that path himself.
MU’s season gets started this Friday night, November 14th at the BMO Harris Bradley Center vs. Tennessee-Martin.
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