‘Proud of everything we’ve achieved:’ Why Brian Goorjian is quitting as Hawks coach

Brian Goorjian has stepped down as Illawarra Hawks coach and will take up another role with the NBL club.

Goorjian’s longtime assistant Jacob Jackomas will take the top job with the Hawks while the Boomers boss will become a special adviser for Illawarra.

It comes after the Hawks pulled out of the NBL semi-finals with a 2-0 loss to the Sydney Kings.

Jackomas coached alongside Goorjian for nearly a decade, following him from the Kings to the Shenzhen Leopards and Shanghai Sharks, and rejoining him in 2020 with the Hawks.

“I really enjoyed my last two seasons with the Hawks, where we performed extremely well and reached the top four each time,” Goorjian said.

“I am extremely proud of everything we have achieved on the pitch and look forward to helping the club in any way I can going forward.

“The plan has always been for Jacob to succeed me at the Hawks and the club, thanks to the excellent staff and owners, is in an extremely strong position.”

Goorjian, 68, will remain in charge of the Boomers as Australia try to build on the historic bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

“The basketball in this country is as strong as I’ve seen it, which is saying a lot since I started coaching here in the NBL in 1988,” the legendary coach said.

“All credit to Larry Kestelman and the NBL office, for their superb work, especially over the past two years with handling all of the disruption caused by COVID-19.”

Meanwhile, Perth superstar Bryce Cotton is staying with the Wildcats for at least three more seasons after the juggernaut missed the playoffs for the first time in 35 years.

The three-time NBL MVP played 170 games for the Wildcats after joining the Western Australia powerhouse in 2016.

The 29-year-old scored the seventh-most points (3,784) in Wildcats history and is ranked second for the club in three-pointers (499).

Cotton extended his contract through the end of the 2024-25 NBL season.

“The last six seasons have been amazing, and now I can paint the canvas a little more for the next three years,” Cotton said.

Perth coach Scott Morrison has praised Cotton’s combination of skill and selflessness.

“Bryce commands more defensive attention than any player in the league and he accepts that responsibility head-on,” he said.

“He defies the odds to lead the league by scoring regularly, while constantly providing opportunities for his teammates.”


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