November 29, 2019 | Melbourne Boomers news

Boomers coach Guy Molloy hits 250 WNBL games

This Saturday at the Deakin Melbourne Boomers home game against the Sydney Uni Flames, head coach Guy Molloy will be recognised for his 250th game with the WNBL. It is a significant milestone in a career spanning three decades.

Whilst a WNBL Championship still eludes the 54-year-old, a fact that drives him on with the same boundless energy as the man who entered the fray in 1989, the bigger picture is never lost as he reflects on the highs and the lows 30 years on.

“To win the WNBL championship would be nice, particularly after a couple of grand final losses, but I wouldn’t say it’s the biggest goal I’ve got. What drives me on is continuing to learn and improve as a coach, creating good methods and high standards, to positively influence the next crop of players. I was told early in my career by great coaches like Brian Goorjian and Lindsay Gaze to always focus on your craft, improve it, don’t fixate on the results.”

“I’ve learned so many tough lessons about coaching over the years.  Mistakes are rife, situations go wrong. I just want to keep improving and ultimately leave the club with a strong legacy and winning culture.” 

Molloy began his coaching career with the WNBL Canberra Capitals in 1989 before switching to men’s coaching. From 1993-96 he returned to the WNBL and coached the Perth Breakers to four consecutive finals appearances, including a grand final loss at the buzzer. In 1995, he was awarded the WNBL Coach of the Year award for the first time.

After a lengthy stint as an assistant coach in the NBL with the SE Melbourne Magic and Victoria Titans, he moved north to head coach the fledgling Cairns Taipans from 2000-05, taking the club to its maiden finals appearance in 2004. He moved to the South Dragons in 2006 as an assistant coach, and eventually reunited his partnership with Brian Goorjian in 2008-09 when the Dragons won the NBL Championship.

In between NBL seasons, Molloy did a ton of high-level junior men’s coaching leading Vic Metro U18’s to three successive gold medals, and three Australian teams to the quarter-finals or better at FIBA World Cups, the highlight being the 2012 Australian U17 men’s team which won the silver medal.

2013 saw a return to where it all started in the WNBL, this time as the head coach of the Deakin Melbourne Boomers, picking up the accolade of Coach of the Year for the 2013-14 season and another finals appearance.  Molloy has been with the club ever since. 

“I had been coaching men’s basketball for a long time, and I was ready for something different. A good friend of mine, Lori Chizik, and another person who was to become a good friend, Linda Perry, both talked to me about the possibility of coaching the Boomers.”

“I thought, I’ll do it for a year and see where things sit after that. It’s now seven years later and I’m still here.” 

“It hasn’t been a smooth, continuous journey at all. The Boomers have gone through a complete life-change, from the old model as an arm of the Bulleen-Templestowe Basketball Club into the new model of private ownership and professionalism; a model under which the Club has flourished. We’ve had so many challenges and problems, but I’m just proud to have served the Club so long and hope to enjoy coaching while the Club is at such a wonderful point.”

As for career highlights whilst at the Boomers, Molloy points to his unheralded first team in 2013-14 which defied odds and made finals, and then his 2017-18 team which won an amazing semi-final series vs Perth but lost the grand final series to Townsville after three fierce games. 

“Actually, a lot of the best moments are just the small steps along the journey.  For example, two young players at the time – Tess Madgen and Rebecca Allen – had standout seasons during my first two years at the club and made WNBA rosters. Many others have made Australian teams at senior or junior level or just improved in a critical area, and you hope you’ve been influential in that development. So I generally try to enjoy the journey.”

Boomers co-captain Cayla George added praise for her head coach.

“Guy [Molloy] has such a high IQ for the game and is easily one of my favourite coaches to play for,” she said.

“He also loves a good prank so it makes for a good giggle more often than not”.

 Fellow co-captain Maddie Garrick also speaks highly of the coach she’s now worked with for five seasons.

“I’ve had the privilege to create a very strong relationship with Guy over the past five seasons and it’s been full of hard work, some tears but mostly jokes,” she said. 

“It takes an incredible coach to change his coaching philosophy and be ahead of the game, and to care so much about his team as players and individuals.” 

Molloy will be recognized by the WNBL at the State Basketball Centre this Saturday for reaching the milestone.