Basketball hunts for Head Coaches
15 February 2013
BASKETBALL: Basketball Australia has opened up recruitment for head coaching positions for both Australian National Teams – and will for the first time in more than a decade offer a full-time role to the Australian Opals Head Coach.
Basketball Australia Chief Executive Officer Kristina Keneally said: “The Opals are a medal-winning program, and Basketball Australia will look to support the team by appointing a full-time Opals Head Coach, who will also serve as Head Coach of the Women’s Program at a new Basketball Australia National Centre of Excellence in Canberra.”
Further – as part of Basketball Australia's response to the Australian Sports Commission’s 'Winning Edge' strategy – the Men’s and Women’s High Performance Programs currently run by the Australian Institute of Sport will be migrated to the new Basketball Australia National Centre of Excellence over the next 12 months.
Based in Canberra, the Head Coaches will drive the four-year programs that will see the Opals and Boomers excel at the 2014 FIBA World Championships and 2016 Rio Olympics.
The Boomers Head Coach will be offered as a part-time position, with potential for the right candidate to serve in a full-time role incorporating the role of Head Coach of the Men’s Program at the Centre of Excellence.
Ms Keneally said the Head Coaches would have the chance to play an historic role in shaping the new Centre of Excellence, as well as defining the national team programs on the road to Rio.
“This is a ground-breaking, innovative move – it’s the first time in over a decade that Basketball Australia has dedicated a full-time Olympic Head Coach to one of our national teams,” Ms Keneally said.
“The Opals are ranked second in the world by FIBA. They’re Australia’s most consistent medalling women’s team across all sports – having medalled at the last five Olympic Games. This is about giving them the resources they need to aim for their first gold medal.
“We also expect that the Boomers will go into the 2016 Rio Olympics with the strongest squad to date and their strongest chances yet of winning a medal.
“Basketball Australia’s elite pathway programs are advanced and proven, having consistently produced international stars such as Luc Longley, Andrew Gaze, Trish Fallon, Lauren Jackson, Andrew Bogut, and Penny Taylor.
“We’re further bolstering those programs – as well as our national team culture – by streamlining them with the Road to Rio strategy at the new Basketball Australia National Centre of Excellence in Canberra.
“Put simply, the next four years will be pivotal for Australian basketball.”
A full-time Opals Head Coach was one of the key recommendations to arise from Basketball Australia’s review of the 2012 London Olympic Program.
The Board of Basketball Australia has appointed the selection panels for both positions. Both panels will be chaired by Basketball Australia’s General Manager of High Performance and National Teams, Steven Icke.
The selection panel for the Opals Head Coach will include Jan Stirling, Rachael Sporn, Luc Longley, Andrew Gaze, and Ian Rutledge.
The selection panel for the Boomers Head Coach will include Luc Longley, Andrew Gaze, Jan Stirling, Paul Roos and Ian Rutledge.
Both Head Coaches will serve a fixed term until 30 September 2016, with annual reviews.
The head coaching positions for the Opals and the Boomers were vacated following the 2012 London Olympics – with both Carrie Graf and Brett Brown having completed their four year contracts and subsequently advising Basketball Australia that each would be stepping down to pursue domestic interests.
Ms Graf will today announce that she will not renominate for Opals Head Coach, having accepted a role as the first coach in residence at the University of Canberra, in addition to her current role as coach of the Canberra Capitals in the Women’s National Basketball League.
Ms Keneally thanked Carrie and Brett for the lasting impact they both made on the Opals and the Boomers respectively, and wished them well in their future endeavours.
“Carrie Graf and Brett Brown have made a profound contribution to the strong culture and discipline ingrained into both of Australia’s national teams,” Ms Keneally said.
“The success of the Opals and the Boomers at an Olympic level – as well as the respect both teams have garnered globally – is in no small part due to the leadership Carrie and Brett brought to the table.”
Basketball Australia’s Men’s and Women’s High Performance Programs are podium programs – designed for the Opals and the Boomers to directly contribute to the Australian Sports Commission’s ‘Winning Edge’ 2012-2022 performance targets:
• Australia Top 5 ranking at the Olympics and Paralympics;
• Australia Top 15 ranking at the Winter Olympics and Paralympics;
• Australia ranked 1st at the Commonwealth Games; and
• 20+ Australian World Champions annually.