A hard-nosed and determined point guard, Jan Stirling played 163 WNBL games between 1982 and 1991, and represented the Opals at the 1975 FIBA World Championships. But it was what Stirling accomplished as a coach that truly set her apart.
Taking over the reins of the Adelaide Lightning in 1993, she created one of the great dynasties of Australian basketball. Stirling guided her team to five consecutive WNBL Grand Finals, winning a hat-trick of titles from 1994-1996 and another in 1998. Her ascension to the Australian Opals coaching role was a natural progression, and when the Opals won gold at the 2006 FIBA World Championships in Brazil, Jan Stirling’s place in Australian basketball history was assured.
The first-ever gold medal by a senior Australian basketball team would be surrounded by silver medals at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, bronze at the 2002 FIBA World Championships and gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
In 2008 Stirling was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her contribution to sport, and most recently she served on the selection committee for the Australian Boomers and Jayco Australian Opals head coaching positions.