Karen Umlauf poses with a basketball at the Advocate Center.

Karen Stack-Umlauf, Shawn Respert & Dean Cooper Move Into New Roles

"To me we’re not looking at women or men, this or that. It’s who can teach, who can coach, who can make people better."

Karen Stack-Umlauf is moving into one of the more prominent roles among women in the NBA as a regular assistant on the staff of new coach Jim Boylen.

“Karen Stack Umlauf is going to have a bigger role in what we do,” Boylen said before Tuesday’s game with the Indiana Pacers. “I believe in her basketball acumen; she’s got great instincts. She’s going to do game plans and game preps. She’s going to be on the floor coaching. They’re going to hear her voice, and she’s earned this opportunity."

“She’s a lifer, she’s a junky, and she’s sharp,” Boylen said about the onetime administrative assistant to former general manager Jerry Krause who has been with the Bulls for more than 30 years. “To me we’re not looking at women or men, this or that. (It’s) who can teach, who can coach, who can make people better. That’s what this level is about, every level really. In college, you have to recruit. So that throws a little different wrinkle in it, but it’s about making people better, and I think she can help us do that and she can assist me in a positive way.’’

Stack-Umlauf had been added to Fred Hoiberg’s staff last summer as an associate coach. She moves up in a shuffle that Tuesday included assistant coach Randy Brown resigning.

Brown played for the Bulls 1996-98 NBA champions and then rejoined the team in 2009 as director of player personnel. Brown moved to assistant general manager then to the bench as an assistant under Hoiberg. Boylen said he outlined several changes that included Brown remaining as an assistant but in a new spot in the second row. Brown submitted his resignation Tuesday afternoon.

Boylen said his staff reshuffling included moving video coordinator Paul Miller and player development coach Shawn Respert into new roles. Dean Cooper, a Boylen colleague from Houston who was with the Windy City Bulls also was added to the staff. Boylen said he asked Brown to remain in a new role, but Brown declined.

“I was excited about keeping the guys I had, but I was going to shuffle some roles, shuffle some responsibilities and assignments that I thought was best for the team,” Boylen explained. “When I met with my coaches I gave them the role I wanted them to have and everybody thought it was good for them. Coach Brown didn’t think that was something he wanted to do and he thought it was best for him and his family that he move on. I’m disappointed. I wanted Coach Brown on our staff, but I understand. He wasn’t demoted. Just a different role, different assignment; he was an assistant coach. It just wasn’t for him."

“He’ll be missed, but a guy’s got to do what a guy’s got to do,” Boylen said. "He’s going to move on and we’re going to move on. All I’ve been preaching for the last, what is it, 24 hours, 36 hours, whatever, is that we are going to uphold the concept of team and we were going to have a commitment to everything we do. I think Coach Brown felt from his position that it was something he could not do, so I give him credit for that. He’ll always be a special guy to me, and we’re moving on. We got games to play and we’ve got players to develop. The train is moving out, so we gotta get going. We’ve got a franchise to uphold."

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