Three-time Olympian Michele Timms, Townsville Fire head coach Peter Buckle and Australian Institute of Sport women’s program head coach Phil Brown are the coaches selected.
Timms, Buckle and Brown beat out a strong crop of candidates trialed throughout the 2009 program and will work with the Jayco Opals until at least the conclusion of the Worlds in the Czech Republic next October.
“We trialed seven assistant coaches this year in the international season and it was a hard decision for Basketball Australia to make,” Graf said.
“I feel confident with this coaching staff that we will get the most out of the players we have available.”
With no retirements from the Jayco Opals team that won a Silver Medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Australia is expected to field a strong side throughout the 2010 campaign.
It also has the strong support of Australian caravan and motor home company Jayco, who on Tuesday signed on as naming rights sponsor of the Opals for the next three years.
The Jayco Opals will undergo tours to China and Europe as part of the program as well as international matches in Australia in advance of the 16th World Championship to be played in Ostrava and Brno from September 23 to October 3, 2010.
The 2010 program is yet to be finalised and will be released by Basketball Australia at a later date.
Australia is the reigning World Champion of international women’s basketball after it defeated Russia in Brazil to win the 2006 incarnation of the event.
Brown has coached 22 Australian Olympians, including former AIS athletes and WNBA All-Stars Lauren Jackson and Penny Taylor, over more than two decades of coaching. After 15 years at the helm of the AIS Women’s Basketball program, where he led the team to victory in the 1999 WNBL competition and was named WNBL Coach of the Year on two occasions, Brown spent four years as an assistant coach with the University of Oregon Women’s Basketball program before returning to lead the AIS Women’s basketball program in 2009. He has also spent 12 years as an assistant coach of the Australian U19 team, the Gems, and was its head coach at the U19 World Championship in 2005. He was also assistant coach of the Jayco Opals at the 2002 FIBA World Championship for women.
Peter Buckle is in his third season as Head Coach of the Townsville McCafe Fire after leading the team to third place last season, equaling the highest ever finish of the Townsville team. Townsville finished the regular season with 16 wins and 6 losses and a home record 11 wins from eleven games. Buckle has instilled a professional culture to the program, building his teams on discipline, tough defence and a run-and-gun offence. Buckle spent six seasons as assistant coach of the Canberra Capitals (under Carrie Graf) along with various State junior programs and ITC programs throughout Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT. He has also coached in the ABA for Ballarat, Mackay and Canberra. In 2009 he coached the Australian Women’s University team to the Bronze medal at the World University Summer Games in Belgrade, Serbia.
Timms began her professional basketball career as a player in 1984 in Australia and was selected to the WNBL’s All-Star Five seven times and has been named as an inaugural Life Member of the league. She played in three Olympic Games (Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000) and has won two Olympic silver medals. Timms was the first female Australian basketball player to ply her trade overseas; first in Germany where she was named the ‘Women's International Player of The Year’ in 1994 and 1996, before signing with the Phoenix Mercury for the opening season of the WNBA in 1997. Timms has worked as a basketball development officer for the South Dragons in the NBL before she stepped up to work as an assistant coach of the team under Guy Molloy. In February 2005 she signed on as an assistant coach of the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA under head coach Carrie Graf. She was an assistant coach of China’s national women’s team at the 2008 Olympic Games and in 2009 she again teamed up with Tom Maher as an assistant coach of the Bulleen Boomers in the WNBL. She is a member of the Basketball Australia Hall of Fame.