Fire name 2018/19 coaching panel

September 9, 2018 | Townsville Fire news

The JCU Townsville Fire have finalised their coaching staff ahead of 2018/19 Chemist Warehouse WNBL season.

With pre-season training officially commencing tomorrow, the Fire have unveiled reigning QBL coach of the year Mike St-Maurice and NBL championship winner Luke Brennan as assistant coaches.

The pair join head coach, Claudia Brassard, and lead assistant, Mark Wrobel, who have both been apart of the Fire’s championship run including the 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2017/18 titles.

Technical assistant Paul Foster returns for a second season, while Brent Goriss also returns as the club’s strength and conditioning coach.

Poised to enter her third season as head coach of the Fire, Brassard said she was looking forward to Brennan and St-Maurice joining her coaching staff and the new ideas that they will bring.

“I’m delighted to have Luke and Mike join the coaching panel,” Brassard said.

“Both are accomplished coaches in their own right, who bring different strengths to the table and they will compliment what Mark and I already do.

“Both Luke and Mike are familiar with most of our players – and the league – and will be able to provide immediate input as we plot our title defence.”

Having won an NBL title with the Sydney Kings in 2004/05 – learning his craft under the likes of Brian Goorjian, Rob Beveridge, Bill Tomlinson, Shawn Dennis and Mike Kelly – Brennan has established strong coaching credentials in more recent years at club, representative and state level.

“I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to help coach what has been the benchmark in women’s basketball in Australia for the past few years,” Brennan said.

“I am very excited about being able to learn from two highly regarded coaches in Claudia and Mark, and to be able to contribute in any way I can to hopefully bring the trophy back to Townsville once again.”

Earlier this month, St-Maurice, who guided the Townsville Flames to the minor championship after finishing the regular season with a 16-2 record, was named the QBL coach of the year.

Having worked extensively with Brassard and Wrobel, the state-league mentor said the opportunity was one that was too good to pass up ahead of his appointment.

“As a burgeoning senior women’s coach at the state level, it’s a tremendous growth opportunity to join an organisation with such a strong winning culture,” St-Maurice said.

“It’s an honour to be involved and working alongside the most elite coaches and athletes in Australia.”

The Fire officially commence pre-season tomorrow, with the reigning WNBL champions poised to unveil their championship banner at Townsville Stadium on Sunday, October 14.

The Fire would like to thank championship-winning assistants Peter Crawford and Rachael McCully for their service in recent seasons.

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