Top Clubs Shuffle Coaching Cards Ahead of New Season

Coaching roles are never usually permanent, like most sports, it can be dependent on results, or however your boss measures success. As with some clubs, they stick by their guy regardless of the season.

This upcoming season sees a few changes come as we say goodbye to some of the longstanding head coaches around the league.

Leading the Senior Men to multiple National Titles over theist 18 years, Stuart Glass steps down at St Mirren. The most recent piece of silverware came during the 2017-18 season where Glass guided BasketballPaisley to another SBC Men’s League title. An ageing squad featuring two Commonwealth Games Athletes in Chris Cleary and Nick Collins, Glass introduced only a couple of youth products into the fold with Brad Low featuring in a few outings and 15 Year old Euan Birch coming in at the end of the season. Eden Duff would be one of the bright spots for the youth movement at St Mirren, featuring in most games throughout the season and becoming a part of the rotation. A team that relies heavily on their veterans will be needing to look to the youth teams to keep the success coming – something new head coach Matt Giroux should be keen to do.

A product of the club, Giroux played 10 seasons with the Senior Men under former coach Glass as well as well as pillars of the game in Lindsey Laing and Iain Maclean.

Giroux told BasketballPaisley,

I am thrilled to have been asked to return to St Mirren and take on the challenge of coaching the Senior Men’s team. I had the privilege to play for this club for ten years and learned from great coaches and fine men Lindsay Laing, Iain Maclean and Stuart Glass. I hope to build on what they and their teams have accomplished. I look forward to working with the players and club to help create the best opportunities for success both on and off the court. Fostering links with our Junior men and encouraging progression to the Senior team will be an essential part of our plans moving ahead.

City of Edinburgh will be experiencing some of the biggest changes as the club decided to rotate its whole coaching staff. In some encouraging news they are hoping to return with an U18 Women’s team after a disappointing season which saw no Edinburgh based teams in the Junior Women league. After 5 years coaching the Senior Men’s team, Craig Nicol is set for a move! Craig is acknowledged as one of the top coaches in the country, as well as his experience coaching within the Club he was also the assistant coach in the recent Commonwealth Games and is the current GB U16 men’s assistant coach. As well as continuing the success of King’s Senior Men, under his tenure he was proud to field a team who were all a product of the Club’s development pathway. This coupled with his success with the Cadet and Junior Men side in the Basketball England national league saw him selected as a coach for this year’s Hoopsfix All-Star Classic,

It was an honour to get asked to coach at the Hoopsfix All Star Classic and get to work with some of the brightest up and coming talents in the UK. It was a tremendously successful event

Nicol will now ply his trade with the already successful Senior Women’s side as well as continuing to head up the Cadet and Junior Men coaching group. The Kats side recently lifted the Scottish Cup and will be looking to make a return to the top of the SBC table.

Nicol said on his new position,

“I am very excited about coaching our women’s team this year. They have a lot of talent and some exciting youth prospects. I am looking forward to a new challenge!”

Nicol will be replaced as Senior Men’s coach by former players Paddy Campbell and Garreth Lodge who were instrumental in the team’s many years of success. The pair will share head coaching responsibilities, hoping that two heads are indeed better than one.

Nicol commented

“Garreth and Paddy have been excellent players for the club over the years and they have amassed a lot of experience between them. They are the perfect coaching duo to continue on from our recent success and still provide a development pathway for our youngsters.”

Garreth Lodge commented on his new appointment,

“After fifteen years of playing together for Kings, Paddy and I are delighted to be the named the Senior Men’s new coaching team. This Club and team has given us both so much on and off the court and it’s great to be given the chance to give something back. The team has had some tremendous success lately winning 3 out of the last 6 trophies in the game and we want to keep building on that and the work done by Craig previously. It’s a young team with tremendous potential and we want to continue the great history of bringing players through from the excellent development system at the Club. We’re really excited to get going and looking forward to pre-season already.”

Former Senior Women head coach Ben Gunn will now take on the reformed Junior Women side, a side that was sorely missed from Scottish Basketball this past year. In their last stint in the league under coach Doug Reilly in 17/18, Kats went on to claim the treble behind some top level talent that now suit up for the Kat’s Senior Women side and WBBL side, Caledonia Pride.

The Club’s young talent paired with Gunn’s experience should provide a positive pathway for young female athletes in the club.

“After the disappointment of the Club not being able to field a team in the Junior Women’s league last season, we know we face a challenge to get some momentum going in the Junior Women programme and to build up the age group again. We are looking forward to the challenge and will make sure that each player coming through benefits from our experience at working at the Senior Women level as we know exactly what is required for players to be successful at that level.” – Ben Gunn