Paul Henare new Southland Sharks coach
Paul Henare will coach the Southland Sharks in the 2013 National Basketball League.
The Sharks announced Henare as their new head coach yesterday, replacing Richard Dickel, who had been at the helm for the first three years of the franchise's existence.
Henare was a key figure with the Breakers and was honoured by becoming the first Breakers player to have his number (32) retired last year.
He played at two Olympics and two world championships with the Tall Blacks and has played professionally in Europe.
After his retirement as a player the 33-year-old has focused on carving out a coaching career, which started with Hawke's Bay, who he played for, and includes him linking with the Tall Blacks as an assistant. He has a 75 per cent winning record during his time at the helm of Hawke's Bay.
His contract as Hawke's Bay coach has expired, and he says the prospect of linking up with a new team such as the Sharks would be good for his coaching career.
"I could be quite comfortable and secure in my hometown with the Hawks but whether that was the best thing for my career, I'm not to sure.
"I really see this as a challenge to come down and do some positive things with a team that has had some success in the past but, hopefully, look to be more consistent in the future," Henare told The Southland Times yesterday.
The former Tall Black said as soon as he heard the Sharks head coaching job would be advertised, he knew he wanted to put his name in the hat.
"First and foremost, I think the Southland Sharks have formed a fantastic organisation down there over the last three years of existence," he said.
Henare said he still had commitments with Hawke's Bay basketball to complete before he moved to Invercargill, which is likely to be at the start of October.
His first assignment with the organisation was to assemble a roster that could develop into title contenders.
He had already touched base with his former Breakers team-mate Kevin Braswell and was hopeful for his possible return to the Sharks.
"I've spoken to Kevin a lot and obviously I've got a very good relationship with him and obviously he's had a good relationship with the Sharks."
Sharks chairman Carl Alsweiler was pleased with the man they got for the job.
“We are very pleased to have been able to select someone of Paul's calibre as our new head coach,” Alsweiler said.
“While any of the interviewees could have got the job, Paul's particular qualities and his commitment to player development impressed the selection panel.”
Alsweiler also paid tribute to the outgoing coach, Richard Dickel.
“Richard was a great foundation coach for the franchise and his legacy of getting the team off the ground and leading us well in the early years will not be forgotten.”
- © Fairfax NZ News