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Syracuse women’s basketball hires Butler’s John Marcum as new assistant coach

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Coach Q fills out the bench in advance of an uncertain 2020-21 season.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 05 ACC Women’s Tournament - Syracuse v Virginia Photo by William Howard/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Back in April, the Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team lost assistant coach DeLisha Milton-Jones to Old Dominion, where she took on the head coaching gig after just one year with SU. Since then, there’s been a need to fill that spot — one that Coach Quentin Hillsman and the Orange addressed on Tuesday.

John Marcum joins Syracuse after three years working as the top assistant for the Butler Bulldogs. He’s previously been an assistant at Grand Canyon University, East Carolina and Indiana State. Marcum also served as head coach at Cal Baptist (D2), and was an assistant on both the men’s and women’s basketball teams at his alma mater, Oklahoma Baptist.

For Syracuse, Marcum will be taking on recruiting coordinator duties as well. The Orange have been loading up on top talent in recent classes, and the hope is that it continues with Marcum aboard.

While we’re glad to welcome John, it is worth pointing out that Syracuse has had to replace three assistants in the last two years (Tammi Reiss, Adeniyi Amadou and Milton-Jones), and now has no women on its assistant coaching staff of Vonn Read, Cedric Solice and Marcum. Obviously men can succeed coaching women, and women can succeed coaching men. However, it’s noteworthy that basketball is the only women’s sport at Syracuse without a woman as a head coach or assistant.

Realistically, you want a coaching staff to be able to relate to a team. Q’s staff can still do that, but it does seem like the program would greatly benefit — as it has in the past — from having a woman on the bench as well. By comparison, four Orange women’s sports (cross country/track & field, ice hockey, softball and tennis) have one woman on staff. Field hockey has two, and one of them (Ange Bradley) is the head coach. Women’s lacrosse, rowing and soccer all have three women apiece on staff as assistants or head coaches, as is the case with the soccer team’s Nicky Adams.