Derek Elston hired as Indiana’s director of player development

  • 10/05/2015 4:26 pm in

Derek Elston, who played at Indiana from 2009 through 2013 and professionally the last two seasons, has returned to the program as the director of player development, the program announced today.

Elston, a Tipton native, has been in the role for about a week now. The full release from Indiana on his hiring is available below:

Indiana University men’s basketball coach Tom Crean has announced that former Hoosier Derek Elston has returned to the program and will serve as the Director of Player Development.

In that role, Elston’s duties will include player mentoring and life skills programing, administrative operations, and involvement in the program’s support services.

“Derek Elston has been a major part of everything here from walking in when it was at the bottom and helping the program become a champion again,” said Crean. “From the day he left Indiana with two degrees, he’s gone out of his way to sustain a level of connectivity to the program by investing his own energy in the program. He is close enough in age to really know what our players deal with and how much improvement is needed on a daily basis. “

A native of Tipton, Elston played four years for the Hoosiers and was a member of the 2013 Big Ten Championship squad and 2012 Sweet Sixteen team. He battled injuries throughout his career and scored 498 points and shot 37.5% from three-point range, including 55.2% from long distance as a junior. As a senior, he was named Academic All-Big Ten and received the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. Elston, along with classmates Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford were recognized as the “Indelibles” by Jim Nantz in the 2013 NCAA Tournament for their lasting impact as the cornerstones for the return of IU basketball to national prominence.

“It is an honor to be back with the Indiana basketball program and to have the opportunity to work with Coach Crean,” said Elston. “I’m excited to be able to help out the program that gave me so much. I cannot thank Coach enough for this opportunity.”

Following his time at IU, Elston played two seasons professionally overseas. Last year, he played for Illiabum in Portugal and averaged 13.2 points and 4.8 rebounds in 24.7 minutes of action per game. He also shot 81.5% from the line. In addition, he played 10 games in the United Kingdom for the Plymouth University Raiders and averaged 10.6 points and 6.6 rebounds in 24.5 minutes per game. The previous season, he played for Floriana in Malta and averaged 26.1 points and 11.6 rebounds.

Elston earned his bachelor’s degree in three years in Sports Communication Broadcast and a master’s degree the following year in Sport Administration.

“Derek was the unheralded leader in his time at Indiana and his leadership skills are going to be very beneficial to the program,” said Crean. “Derek gets it on many levels. Perhaps above all else, Derek understands and appreciates what Indiana Basketball is. He has tremendous respect and admiration for our former players, he’s lived it, and he’s invested in our program’s future.”

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  • OhioHoosier

    Best news I have heard in a long time.

  • Jermagesty

    There is no denying that Crean is doing what he can to try and keep these young men from doing boneheaded things and this hire proves it.

  • Zach

    Awesome news. Welcome back Derek!

  • Jim

    may we never see that 3 to the dome gesture again in college basketball. every year there is something corny that everyone over does

  • Jim

    interesting, this sounds like a job the DOBO usually does. So what does the DOBO do? strictly scheduling and travel?

  • IUBizmark

    Love this hire! Derek brings the old work ethic and discipline we seem to be lacking lately. That culture infusion is badly needed right now.

  • sarge

    What a great hire, love this. Welcome back DE, now back to work on banner 6!

  • Jtime

    Always loved his intensity and effort. He should be a great influence on these guys.

  • Eljay

    Not quite the “drill sergeant” of this team, but I’m betting that anyone foolish enough to be having behavioral problems will be told to report to the Director of Player Development…

    …for a “chat”.

  • inLinE6

    This is to clean up the off-court issues all together. I liked this direction.

  • twarrior87

    Great hire! I agree with everyone saying this could help with the off court issues. We need someone to bring back the work ethic from that team. Derek is a great guy. I like this a lot.

  • marcusgresham

    Anything’s better than the fake “holding back everyone on the bench” move.

  • Bill Graham

    Great hire. Derek is a nice guy I’ve had a few conversations with him here and there. It will also help to have a role model type guy. He provides a presence off-court leadership that our guys need. He’s also good for recruiting the small town Indiana kids.

  • Bk39

    Elston knows CTC’s system from a PF and centers viewpoint, which should help Bryant and Max adjust to the system better and the other new forwards as well.

  • Ole Man

    I don’t think he is allowed to coach (if I’m wrong, someone correct me).
    So from that perspective the impact will probably be minimal. However, this is a great hire!

  • Ole Man

    “doing bonehead things”….like getting caught by the “hitler wannabes”.

  • Young Hoosier

    Well this is cool. Nice to have him back.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    welcome back DE, hope you can talk some sense into these kids! please just don’t take them to your tattoo artist!!

  • Young Hoosier

    Let’s just hope it doesn’t end the same way as when Calbert left.

  • Young Hoosier

    I feel like we never have any good bench reactions. I think we need that one guy at the end of the bench to do something. Do the robot or something. As for the 3 fingers to the head thing… my favorite thing is what Wes Matthews does worth the bow and arrow.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Having read your posts for quite a while, I know you are an educated guy that knows the things Adolf Hitler actually believed, did and attempted to do. Hyperbolic or not, do you really want to say whoever it is you are talking about wants to be like Hitler? It’s your choice either way and this is “just an internet forum” but I still like to pretend like we can be civil human beings.

  • Hardwood83

    What are the chances we could slip him into games for 12-15mins?

  • Bk39

    Your right I think. “At the high school and youth basketball levels, a player development coach may perform menial tasks such as cleaning equipment. College player development coaches help with recruitment and monitor academic compliance.”
    thanks for the correction.

  • Chris Wight

    I agree and I wish we had more of that.. I could see OG possibly being “that guy” for us on the bench. I’ve seen a couple comments about how funny/goofy he can be from players and staff so who knows.

  • Outoftheloop

    Great hire Coach Crean! Welcome home Derek!