Herbert brings a wealth of experience to the role having had stints in the WNBL with Townsville, Perth and Canberra and more recently having been the assistant coach of the 2019 FIBA U19 Women’s World Championship team.
Currently working as part of the Basketball Victoria high performance network, Herbert has held key development roles in Queensland and Western Australia.
He will take the Gems helm from Deanne Butler, who led the team to two World Championships, including the 2019 event, which saw the team finish second after a heartbreaking loss to USA in overtime in the final.
Herbert said he feels extremely honoured to have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of some of Australia’s best coaches in Ray Tomlinson, Phil Brown, Paul Gorris and Deanne Butler.
“The Australian Gems U19 Women’s program has such a rich history of success,” Herbert said.
“Representing my country has always been an ultimate goal of mine as a coach and is something I will not be taking for granted. I know the hard work, sacrifice and effort required for success and I will be pursuing this head on.
“It was an amazing experience to have had the opportunity to work with Deanne and Claudia Brassard and we were so close to achieving the dream of a world cup gold medal.”
The Gems will start their quest for a return to the world stage with the FIBA Asia Cup later in the year.
“Our aim will ultimately be to qualify through the tough Asia Cup, with planning to commence straight away. No stone will remain unturned in the pursuit of putting Australia’s best U19 Women’s team on the floor to compete as hard as we can for our country.”
The Australian U19 Men’s team will once again be led by Head Coach Darren Perry.
Perry guided the Emus to gold at both the FIBA Oceania and FIBA Asia tournaments in 2017 and 2018 respectively. He also led the side to place 9th at the 2019 FIBA World U19 Men’s Championships in July.
A former Australian junior team representative and NBL stand-out, Perry has claimed three gold medals at Australian U18 Championships and has enjoyed great success with Dandenong in the NBL1 competition.
Perry said he was thankful to be given the opportunity to lead the program again.
“We learnt some tough lessons at the 2019 World Championships and definitely will take the knowledge gained to be better and improve our performance in the next 18 months,” Perry said.
“I’d like to acknowledge the job of Mark Radford and the team who received gold at FIBA Oceania Championships last year.
“This group has some exciting individual players and I’m looking forward to working with the High-Performance Basketball Australia staff and the Emus Coaching group.
“We will work together to identify and select a group that will be able to move forward and achieve success in the upcoming Asia Cup tournament to qualify for the next U19 World Championships.”