14 November 2023

Hawks sack coach after horror start to NBL season

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Man holding a basketball.

Illawarra Hawks head coach Jacob Jackomas has been sacked. Photo: Illawarra Hawks.

The struggling Illawarra Hawks have sacked head coach Jacob Jackomas, effective immediately.

The Hawks are sitting at the bottom of the NBL ladder, with a poor 2-7 start to the season.

Hawks assistant coach Justin Tatum will assume interim head coaching duties from Tuesday (14 November) while the club starts its hunt for a new head coach.

Illawarra Hawks General Manager Basketball Mat Campbell said the team’s performances over the first nine games of the NBL24 season, following a challenging NBL23 campaign, “have not met the club’s expectations, and we agreed that Jacob should finish his duties”.

“These decisions are never taken lightly, and on behalf of the club, I want to thank Jacob for all his hard work during his time at the Hawks and wish him well in his future coaching endeavours,” he said.

Jackomas joined the Hawks at the start of the 2022-23 NBL season, finishing with a 3-25 record, which was the worst in franchise history. His record as Hawks head coach ends with an overall record of 5-32.

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He was a long-time assistant coach of Brian Goorjian, the Australian Boomers head coach at the helm of the Hawks from 2020 to 2022.

Hawks CEO Stu Taggart also recognised Jackomas’ efforts while reiterating the importance of on-court performance in supporting the club’s renewed strategy.

“I would like to thank Jacob for the work ethic and professionalism he brought with him daily during his time with the Hawks,” he said.

“The club remains firmly committed to building a basketball program and an organisation focused on sustained performance and success.

“The leadership of the team and the direction the team is taking are the responsibilities of the head coach, and the club must take a different path now, without delay.”

The Hawks were defeated 81-71 against an undermanned Taipans in Cairns last Saturday night (11 November). It was the Hawks’ third successive defeat and their 18th loss in their previous 19 road games.

Their next match under new coach Tatum will be another road game against the New Zealand Breakers on Sunday (19 November).

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