40th Anniversary Honourees – Tom Maher

December 13, 2023 | Melbourne Boomers news

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Deakin Melbourne Boomers, individuals who have made special contributions to the Boomers and our history will be honoured at each Home Game at the Boom Box.

For our Home Game this Sunday December 17, Tom Maher is the esteemed guest whose history and success with the team will be celebrated.

Tom Maher was born on the 4th of September in 1952 in Melbourne and is regarded as one of the most prolific Australian basketball coaches of all time.

He is the most successful coach in the history of the WNBL, having won nine WNBL Championship titles.

He coached Nunawading Spectres to six titles, and also one a piece to Bulleen Boomers, Perth Lynx and Canberra Capitals.

Tom Maher coached over 300 games for the Melbourne Boomers, leading them to their first WNBL Championship victory over the Canberra Capitals in the 2010/11 season.

Click here to watch Tom Maher, Sharon Milner and Michele Timms discuss  the WNBL 2010/11 season championship game between the Canberra Capitals and the Bulleen Boomers.

Maher was awarded WNBL Coach of the Year in 1987 and 1992 and was anointed a WNBL Life Member during the 2002/03 season.

He was also inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame Class of 2021.

Maher coached the Australian women’s team, the Opals from 1993 to 2000, seeing them through both the 1996 Olympics, placing 3rd and the 2000 Olympics, placing 2nd.

He was the first coach to lead Australia to a senior basketball medal of any colour and won a bronze and silver medal for his efforts as Head Coach.

Outside of the WNBL and Australia, Maher has been the Head Coach of numerous national teams, including China, Great Britain and New Zealand.

Maher was also the first foreign coach to be a head coach in the WNBA, utilising his prowess at the Washington Mystics for the 2001 WNBA season.

Maher coached New Zealand’s national women’s team in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, where the Tall Ferns placed 8th, the highest they had ever placed at the Games.

He continued his Olympic streak, coaching the Chinese women’s team at the 2008 and 2016 Olympics in Beijing and Rio respectively, as well as coaching the Great Britain women’s team at the 2012 Olympics in London.

Tom’s contributions to the Boomers and to the world of women’s basketball are immeasurable, having such success in numerous countries with numerous teams.

Tom said it was “very gratifying to be honoured” by the Deakin Melbourne Boomers and is pleased the WNBL is “blessed with such a professional group”.

“I love the WNBL, I always tried my best and it’s very nice that people can remember that  I made some sort of contribution.”

See Tom receive his acknowledgement at our Home Game this Sunday, December 17 against the Adelaide Lightning at the Boom Box, next to the Melbourne Zoo! You can purchase tickets for the game here!

OFFER: We have 20% off all upcoming home game tickets this season. Use code BOOMBOX to receive 20% off your tickets. Offer expires on Christmas Eve!!