Australia Post Boomers assistant coach Brendan Joyce has been named the Gold Coast Bulletin’s Coach of the Year .
The Blaze head coach beat out a strong field for the Gold Coast region that included the likes of Titans head coach John Cartright while World Champion surfers Mick Fanning and Stephanie Gilmore were named joint Sports Star of the Year.
“Having been here on the Gold Coast for such a short time I think it’s fantastic to be acknowledged,” Joyce said.
“We did a lot of hard work getting the team into the finals in our first year and it’s a great honour to win the award.”
Joyce already had an imposing coaching record before taking over the reins of the Gold Coast Blaze in 2007 for their inaugural National Basketball League season.
Joyce had coached the Wollongong Hawks to a championship in 2001, two grand finals and seven top-four finishes in his 12 years with the club.
He was also assistant coach for the Australia Post Boomers when they won a Gold Medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, when they competed at the 2006 World Championship in Japan, and when they won the 2007 Oceania Championship against New Zealand.
Joyce will work alongside Brian Goorjian and Gordon McLeod in Beijing.
But closer to home, the challenge on the Gold Coast with the Blaze was both exciting and daunting.
Joyce only had a limited amount of time to prepare a new roster for the rigours of the NBL.
He was also becoming the public face of a sport that had not had a huge profile on the Coast since 1996.
But Joyce not only brought his new squad together quickly, he achieved surprising success for a start-up roster.
In fact the Blaze made the playoffs in their first year of existence, before exiting in the first weeks of the finals.
Not just an astute tactician, Joyce showed on many occasions he has the ability to motivate his team to step up a level when needed.