Brian Goorjian, the six-time championship winning coach with 735 NBL games to his name is moving to Wollongong to take the helm of the team formerly known as the Illawarra Hawks.
- Brian Goorjian returns to the NBL as a head coach after 11 years coaching in China
- The 66-year-old is the most successful NBL coach of all time, having won six championships
- He has coached in 735 NBL games with a 70 per cent winning record
The appointment follows a period of tumult for the franchise, which was put into voluntary administration in May.
Last week the NBL announced a syndicate of new owners for the newly renamed team, now known simply as the Hawks.
For the last 11 years Goorjian has been coaching in China, following a final NBL season in 2009 that saw him win a championship with the South Dragons.
The most decorated coach in NBL history said times had changed since Larry Kestelman claimed ownership of the league.
“The NBL is a very tough, well-coached league and the margin for error is so minimal, which is a bit different from when I was in the league,” he said.
Staff and players first priority
Goorjian said his first order of business would be to find staff capable of developing players and supporting a long-term future for the club.
“My number one thing is competent staff — guys I can trust and are competent in development,” he said.
“The second aspect is these guys [players] have been sitting off-contract without a club and I think there’s some terrific young talent on the roster.
He acknowledges the Hawks are returning with a slight disadvantage given the recent tumult that has beset the club.
During that time, other NBL clubs have been making player announcements before the free agency period begins, but Goorjian said he was focussed on the long-term.
“The goal of the organisation is foundation and to build a team that’ll be in the top four every year, and every now and then break through and win a championship,” he said.
“We’re coming from the bottom and getting into the market late, so we’ll throw some punches next season — but it’s going to be a build.”