Saul Rafel-Frankel begins his eighth season as University of Delaware Director of Men’s Basketball Operations in the 2014-15 season.
Rafel-Frankel’s responsibilities as the team’s first-ever director of operations include coordinating team travel, coordinating recruiting visits, handling business operations, serving as staff liaison to UD compliance, business, and equipment rooms, and assisting in scheduling of practices and competition.
Rafel-Frankel has played a big part in Delaware’s improvement on the court during his tenure.
He helped lead the Blue Hens to one of the best seasons in school history a year ago as Delaware finished 25-10, tied for the second most wins in a season in school history, and won its first 11 regular season conference games en route to the program’s first CAA regular season title. The Blue Hens secured their eighth regular season league title in school history, while UD’s 14 conference wins tied for the second most in a single season.
UD won 13 consecutive games from Jan. 1 through Feb. 12, tied for the second longest streak in school history, while the Blue Hens’ 11 road victories on the year also ranked second in program history.
Delaware then won three straight contests in the CAA tournament in Baltimore, including a dramatic 75-74 comeback win over William & Mary in the final, to claim the fifth conference tournament title in school history.
The Blue Hens earned the No. 13 seed in the East Regional, battling fourth-seeded and 11th ranked Michigan State before falling to the Spartans, 93-78, in an NCAA Tournament second round game in Spokane, Wash.
The Blue Hens enjoyed their finest season in over a decade in 2011-12 as Delaware posted a record of 18-14, finished fifth in the CAA with a record of 12-6, and qualified for post-season play. The overall wins, conference wins, and conference finish were all career bests to that point under Head Coach Monté Ross, who led the Hens to the post-season for the first time since 2001 with a first round meeting with two-time defending NCAA runner-up Butler in the College Basketball Insider (CBI) Tournament.
The Blue Hens improved on those marks during the 2012-13 campaign, finishing 19-14 overall and placing second in the CAA with a 13-5 league mark, both program highs for UD since joining the conference. The Blue Hens then advanced to the CAA Tournament Semifinals for the third time since joining the league, and for the first time since the 2002-03 season.
Included among those victories was a win at Virginia, the program’s first over an Atlantic Coast Conference school in 50 years, as Delaware advanced to the semfinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off at Madison Square Garden.
Delaware went 13-19 during the 2008-09 season, posting victories over VCU and George Mason, before posting a record of 7-24 the following year.
In 2009-10 the Blue Hens made a seven-win improvement, finishing 14-17 overall and placing seventh in the CAA with an 8-10 league mark. UD advanced to the CAA Tournament Quarterfinals following a victory over Northeastern in the first round.
During the off-season following the 2010-11 campaign, Rafel-Frankel was ranked third in the CAA in the RecruitDirt.com rankings of league men’s basketball operations directors.
Rafel-Frankel, a 2006 Delaware graduate, returned to the Blue Hen men’s basketball program after serving one season as the video coordinator at La Salle University in 2006-07. While at La Salle he handled opponent scouting tapes, edited Explorers game and practice tapes, and assisted the Director of Basketball Operations.
Rafel-Frankel was a four-year manager with Delaware from 2002-06, managing a team of seven student managers. He assisted in a variety of ways with UD practices, and assisted with the planning and organization of team travel and meals. As a senior Rafel-Frankel also served as a community relations intern with the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association, coordinating player appearances at charity events, manning a charity table during home games, and assisting in camps.
Rafel-Frankel has also served as head assistant coach for the New Heights AAU Basketball Team for four summers, and once again this past summer served as director of the Monté Ross Basketball Camp.
He graduated from Delaware in 2006 with a bachelor of science degree in health behavior management, majoring in sport management with a minor in coaching science and a business of finance certificate. He was named the Myles Brand Student of the Year in 2006, an award voted on by faculty and given to a senior sport management major.
In January, 2011, Rafel-Frankel earned a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration with a concentration in Sports Administration from Delaware.
Rafel-Frankel and his wife, Kristyn, reside in Cherry Hill, N.J. They welcomed the birth of their, son, Kellen, on Nov. 18.