Basketball Australia (BA) is delighted to announce that Australian coaching icon Brian Goorjian will lead the Boomers at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics after appointing him coach of the senior men’s national team through to the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
The six-time NBL Championship coach was selected from an outstanding field of candidates and will take the reins of the Boomers as they commence their nine-month preparation for the Tokyo Olympics, scheduled to be contested 23 July – 8 August 2021.
Goorjian is no stranger to the expectation of an Olympic Games, having been head coach of the Boomers in 2004 (Athens) and 2008 (Beijing). Post Beijing, Brian broadened his international experience spending two years with the Japanese National team and then made his mark in the CBA (Chinese Basketball Association) over eleven years, making him the longest serving foreign coach to date.
Between 1988 and 2009, Goorjian coached 735 NBL games for 514 wins, at an incredible winning percentage of 70%. Over that time, he amassed six championships, six Lindsay Gaze NBL Coach of the Year awards, 19 consecutive NBL play-off appearances and 13 NBL Grand Final series appearances.
Upon making the announcement, Basketball Australia CEO Jerril Rechter AM said, “Brian’s success as a coach both domestically and internationally, plus his experience on the Olympic stage made him a standout candidate for this prestigious role.
“His appointment as our senior men’s national team head coach elevates the excitement we feel for the Boomers, not just in Tokyo where we have podium expectations but also beyond this Olympic campaign.”
Highly regarded for his relentless determination in getting the absolute best from the teams he manages, Goorjian leads and fast tracks the improvement of individual athletes. The current Hawks head coach in the NBL has previously introduced Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills, and Joe Ingles to the Olympic stage.
Goorjian is renown as an elite high-performance system leader whose capacity to adapt quickly will be needed as the road to Tokyo is still impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On being appointed to the role, Brian Goorjian said, “I am honoured to be appointed as the men’s national coach and I am looking forward to the challenge. Being reunited with some of the guys I previously coached at the Beijing Olympics is an exciting prospect.
“Australia is very fortunate to have such a talented group of athletes at this time. There is certainly a feeling of unfinished business, so there is a strong commitment from these players to participating in the Tokyo Olympics.
“I will be sitting down with Basketball Australia over the coming days to get fully briefed on their existing plans as we start the road to Tokyo and beyond.”
Goorjian’s appointment as Boomers head coach will not impact on his role with Hawks in the NBL.
Hawks Co-Owner and President Dorry Kordahi said, “The entire Hawks organisation is thrilled for Brian and this opportunity. Brian’s approach to the game and his insight are second to none.
“He inspires players through his knowledge and passion, and I have every confidence Brian will lead the Boomers to success on the world stage. As a friend and colleague, I could not be more proud of this appointment.”
BA would like to acknowledge the outstanding contributions of the independent panel members involved in this recruitment process: Matti Clements – Australian Institute of Sport Director of Athlete Wellbeing and Engagement; Neil Craig – Elite High Performance Consultant; and Ricky Grace – Sydney 2000 Olympian and BA Hall of Famer.