Coach's departure blow for Manawatu Jets

PETER LAMPP
Last updated 12:00 19/02/2013
Weisenberg
STAYING STATESIDE: Coach Weisenberg will remain in Los Angeles, where his wife is expecting a baby in July.

Relevant offers

Basketball

Nelson Giants secure first home NBL win of season with victory over Taranaki 42 of the best from John Wall set up Washington Wizards series against Boston Celtics Life is about to get real for Steven Adams as he enters mega-deal with OKC Thunder Understrength Southland Sharks too slick for Taranaki Mountain Airs Nelson Giants desperate for home court NBL win over Taranaki Mountainairs A balancing act for Netball South shooter Aliyah Dunn as she juggles basketball, netball and studies Canterbury Rams sign McKenzie Moore and Mike Karena for rest of NBL season Line drawn in the sand as Southland Sharks become accountable Steven Adams comes clean on why Russell Westbrook is 'legit dude' and great team-mate Washington cut from Giants but still expected to front at Trafalgar Centre

Manawatu Jets basketballers were delivered a bombshell yesterday when told their coach, Ryan Weisenberg, won't be coming back.

After three years guiding the national league team, he has put his family first and will stay in California.

Weisenberg's wife, Lyndsey, is pregnant and the baby is due in mid-July, just a week or so after the Jets' regular season finishes.

Acting general manager Janet Thompson yesterday informed the players, many of whom are overseas, including Jeremiah Trueman in Perth, and they said they remained committed to the Jets.

A week ago Weisenberg thought he would be able to return and the board had planned on having him.

He is working as an assistant coach of the Pepperdine University women's team in Los Angeles, a team his wife formerly played for. He went there in August.

"It is a big blow to us to lose Ryan," Thompson said. "We were pretty excited that he was going to take us to the finals this year and do it.

"But we have got other options to replace him.

"He will not be irreplaceable. We have some very good candidates we are interested in and are talking to."

"Ryan had been pretty committed to the Jets but at the end of the day, he had to put his family first."

The core of the last year's team, who reached the playoffs last season, have been re-signed including Americans Chris Hagan and Marcel Jones. Star import Josh Pace, the league's leading scorer last year, has gone to the Nelson Giants.

Weisenberg, in a statement from the United States, said after discussing it with his family and going over all the scenarios, he had come to the conclusion he needed to step away this season from coaching the Jets.

"I can't justify leaving my pregnant wife who is working fulltime as a teacher, and two toddlers for five months. I apologise that this decision has taken longer than I would have liked, but I really went through a number of discussions with people on both sides.

"This decision has been one of the most difficult I have made. I know people will feel like I let them down by not coming back, but with all the work we have done over the past three seasons, this organisation is in a great place."

His wife played for the New Zealand women's team in Vietnam last year.

Horvath, the league's MVP last year, said he was happy for Weisenberg and understood that family comes first.

"Unfortunately for him he'll be missing a great season for the Manawatu Jets. When one door closes another opens and I'm excited at the potential for who could fill the role as head coach."

Ad Feedback

Miles Pearce was supposed to be a Jets assistant coach last year but ended up playing.

Thompson was to meet Pearce and assistant coach Darron Larsen today to put in place a short-term plan.

Thompson said the Jets' priority would be to enlist a coach for a year to take the team to the final.

"I don't think this will put any of the players off," she said.

Nolan King, a personal friend of Weisenberg's, has stepped down as Jets general manager because of an illness in the family. He remains chairman of the board.

- Manawatu Standard

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

How do you expect the Breakers to perform in this season's Australian NBL?

Last season was a blip, they'll be champions once again

They'll go close to another title, beaten finalists I'd say

Playoffs for sure, but can't see them going any further

Not too excited, they'll miss the playoffs again

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content