<
>

Goorjian steps down as Illawarrra Hawks coach

Veteran NBL coach Brian Goorjian has opted not to take up the third year of his contract with Ilawarra Hawks, instead moving into a "special advisor" role in basketball operations.

Goorjian's assistant Jacob Jackomas will take charge of the Hawks, who were beaten in the NBL semifinals by local rivals Sydney Kings.

Goorjian has been approached by various overseas clubs, the coach admitting he was keen to explore what was on offer.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed my last two seasons with the Hawks, where we've performed extremely well and reached the top four on both occasions," Goorjian said via media release.

"I'm extremely proud of everything we achieved on the court and look forward to helping the club in any way I can moving forward.

"This move also allows my long-time assistant coach Jacob, who I have complete faith in, his chance to prove himself in the NBL.

"The plan was always for Jacob to succeed me at the Hawks and the club, thanks to the excellent staff and owners, is in an extremely strong position - which is really exciting for all involved.

"The strides this organisation has made in the Illawarra community over the past two seasons have been incredible and I'm excited to see what Jacob, the returning players, owners and staff can do in the coming years. "

Goorjian won't be lost to Australian basketball completely no matter whether he takes up a deal offshore, the 8-time NBL champion to remain as coach of the Boomers through to the Paris Olympics in 2024.

"Basketball in this country is as strong as I've seen it, which is saying a lot as I started coaching here in the NBL in 1988," Goorjian said.

"Full credit to Larry Kestelman and the NBL office, for their superb job, particularly over the past two years with managing all the disruptions caused by COVID-19."

Jackomas said he was privileged to have served under Goorjian and would relish the opportunity to take the next step in his coaching career.

"Everyone here has been extremely lucky to work with and learn from Brian over the past two seasons and my coaching staff's mission is to build on that moving forward," Jackomas said.

"I'm extremely excited about the opportunity presented to me because it's always been a dream of mine to coach at the highest level and the NBL is one of the top leagues around the world.

"On top of that, the core we already have here in place fires me up and I'm looking forward to adding more pieces in the coming months, as we start our quest on the NBL 23 banner."