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'Proud of everything we achieved:' Why Brian Goorjian is stepping down as Hawks coach

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4th May, 2022
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Brian Goorjian has stepped down as coach of the Illawarra Hawks and will move into another role with the NBL club.

Goorjian’s long-time assistant Jacob Jackomas will take up the top job with the Hawks while the Boomers boss will become a special advisor for Illawarra.

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

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

“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.

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“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.

“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.”

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

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“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,” the legendary coach 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.”

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

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

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

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

“The past six seasons have been amazing, and I now get to paint the canvas some more for the next three years,” Cotton said.

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

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“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 in scoring on a regular basis, while consistently getting his teammates opportunities.”

© AAP

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