Men’s basketball taps former Brown assistant coach as director of operations

Head Coach Chris Caputo named his third addition to the men’s basketball staff Thursday, selecting the team’s director of operations.

Cooper Handelsman will join the Colonials after serving as an assistant coach at Brown during the last three years, guiding star players like Jaylan Gainey, a two-time Ivy League defensive player of the year, and Kino Lilly Jr., the Ivy League’s rookie of the year this past season. The hiring marks Caputo’s third in a week following assistant coach Brenden Straughn and director of recruiting Eric Rubenstein – part of the process to rebuild the team’s depleted coaching staff.

Men’s basketball fired former Head Coach Jamion Christian and the entire coaching staff after the team was eliminated from the Atlantic 10 Championship, which gave way to the transfers of leading scorers, sophomore guard Joe Bamisile and freshman guard Brayon Freeman.

“Cooper has the diversity of experience we were looking for in the role of director of basketball operations,” Caputo said in the press release. “He was not only an outstanding player at Kenyon College, but his organizational skills developed at the Hoop Group and his work at two highly competitive academic institutions like Lehigh and Brown make him the perfect fit to run our daily operations for GW.”

Before Brown, Handelsman was the director of Hoop Group, a grassroots youth basketball organization based in New Jersey, where he recruited more than 3,000 student-athletes to their summer camps. He established Chicago-based camps and tournaments to promote the organization’s platform and showcase student-athletes during recruitment periods.

Handelsman started his career as a video coordinator at Lehigh in 2015, where he managed video-related operations, including films for games, scouting, practice and recruiting for a season. He graduated in 2015 from Kenyon College, where he was named team captain during his senior year and set the program’s single-game assist record.

“I’m grateful to join the George Washington community and work with Coach Caputo,” Handelsman said. “The combination of Washington D.C., and high-level academics will allow us to attract some of the best student-athletes to the university. Coach has a vision of how to build a successful program, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

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