Brassard steps down from the Fire

May 16, 2019 | Townsville Fire news

The JCU Townsville Fire will enter a new era after championship winning coach Claudia Brassard informed the club she would be stepping down ahead of the 2019/20 season.

Having served as an assistant during the club’s back-to-back championships wins, Brassard steered the Fire to a third title in 2017/18 in just her second season at the helm.

She concludes her tenure as a head coach in the Chemist Warehouse WNBL with a 43-31 record and a winning percentage of 58%.

While the Fire had hoped Brassard would return for a fourth season, a change in works commitments means she is unable to serve as a full-time coach throughout the season with the club poised to commence their search for a replacement immediately.

A former club captain, MVP and board director, Brassard is expected to remain involved in the club in some capacity throughout 2019/20.

“The JCU Townsville Fire would like to thank Claudia for her incredible commitment to the club over the journey,” Fire chair Michelle Morton said.

“While she has served as head coach for the past three seasons, including our latest championship victory, her tenure with the club stretches back to 2002 across a myriad of roles.

“Her passion and commitment to the club has been unwavering, and while she will no longer be the head coach, we look forward to her remaining involved.”

Having served as a senior assistant for three seasons, Brassard was appointed head coach in 2016/17 and led the Fire to the semi-finals.

The following season she climbed the summit once again as the Fire defeated the Liz Cambage-led Melbourne Boomers 2-1 in a thrilling Grand Final series on their home floor.

The Fire’s title defence was curtailed last season as six-time WNBL MVP Suzy Batkovic spent the majority of the year sidelined through injury, but with a raft of championship heroes returning and an injection of new stars including Julie Vanloo and Bridget Carlton, the club is optimistic of a bright future.

“It’s a decision that I haven’t taken lightly,” Brassard said.

“The Fire has played such an enormous role in my life – not just my sporting career – and I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunities the club has afforded me as a player and as a coach.

“I’m sure whoever replaces me will do an incredible job, it’s a special club to coach, and I look forward to seeing them contend for another title throughout 2019/20.”