The Hawks are delighted to announce the appointment of the Hungry Jack’s NBL’s most successful coach, Brian Goorjian, as the new Head Coach of the club for the next two seasons.
The appointment follows last week’s announcement that the licence for The Hawks had been purchased by a syndicate of local and overseas investors to lead the foundation club into the next exciting chapter of its history.
Goorjian won a record six NBL championships as coach with the South East Melbourne Magic, Sydney Kings and South Dragons in a decorated career spanning 20 years in which he enjoyed a 70 per cent winning ratio.
The six-time NBL Coach of the Year also coached the Australian Boomers from 2001 to 2009 and has spent the last 11 years coaching in China.
Co-Owner of The Hawks Dorry Kordahi said: “This is an exciting moment for our organisation and our fans. We have said all along we want to build solid foundations and a program that will be respected.
“Success breeds success and our focus is putting the right pieces in place to achieve this. Having Brian lead the way will give us this.
“Having been close friends with Brian for over 11 years at our time at the Sydney Kings, we have always said if I ever come back into owning a team again he would be there with me. So to see this come true is something special.
“We encourage all our loyal and passionate Hawks fans and sports fans in general to get on board for what we believe is going to be an exciting journey ahead.”
Goorjian said: “I am very excited to have the opportunity to return to the NBL as the Head Coach of the Hawks. I want the fans to know that I am totally committed to putting together a team and staff that the community will get behind and be proud of.
“Over many years I have competed against the Hawks and seen at first hand the passion of their fans. I feel Wollongong and surrounding areas have a very strong basketball following. Their fans are loud and have always shown outstanding loyalty to their team. It’s definitely a basketball community and one that I will enjoy being a part of.
“Over time, I would like to build a winning culture with a team that is consistently in the top four, that has a chance each year of winning a championship.
“My immediate priority is to put together a staff that is highly skilled and committed to developing the players. Obviously we are also trying to put together the best possible playing roster. Not only do we want good players, it’s just as important to me that they are good people.
“A key ingredient in any successful organisation is the ownership. I have a history with Dorry Kordahi since my days at the Kings and have formed a very close friendship with him. During discussions with Dorry and the other two owners, Bryan Colangelo and Michael Proctor, I have been equally impressed by their commitment and passion to build a really strong franchise. They are all successful in their chosen careers and I felt the chemistry between us all was really great.
“The last 11 years I have been coaching in China but of course I have been following the developments in the NBL. I now feel very confident in its future looking at the direction that Larry Kestelman has taken the League both on and off the court.
“The NBL has now once again become a respected competition around the world and what Larry has achieved in a relatively short period is nothing short of amazing.”
Hungry Jack’s NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said: “Brian Goorjian is the NBL’s most successful ever coach and one of the most respected and recognisable figures in the game. His decision to return to Australia and join The Hawks is a great endorsement of the NBL and our vision for it to become a club that people can be proud of on and off the court.”
BRIAN GOORJIAN BIOGRAPHY
- Melbourne Tigers (1977-1985)
- Eastside Spectres (1988-1991)
- South East Melbourne Magic (1992-1998)
- Victoria Titans (1998-2002)
- Australian Boomers (2001-2009)
- Sydney Kings (2002-2008)
- South Dragons (2008-2009)
- Dongguan Leopards (2009-2015)
- Xinjiang Flying Tigers (2018-2019)
- Most experienced NBL coach of all time
- Coached 735 NBL games with 514 wins – a 70% winning record
- Only person to win six NBL championships as head coach
- A record six-time winner of the Lindsay Gaze Trophy as NBL Coach of the Year (1992, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2008, 2009)
- Featured in the NBL semi-finals in the last 20 seasons he has coached, including 13 Grand Final appearances
- Only person to coach over 100 NBL finals matches
- His last game as coach in the NBL was with the South Dragons in 2009, where he led them to a championship