Fire throw their support behind Lucas

September 5, 2017 | Townsville Fire news

The JCU Townsville Fire has thrown their support behind dual championship winning coach Chris Lucas today following his diagnosis of kidney cancer.

During his five years leading the club from 2011/12 to 2015/16, Lucas led the Fire to five successive play-off campaigns including four consecutive Grand Finals and back-to-back championships.

He returned to Adelaide last season to be closer to his family, and subsequently, took the reins of the Lightning.

After leading Australia to a gold medal at last month’s World University Games, an MRI revealed Lucas had a 14cm growth on one of his kidneys, which had been causing sciatic pain in his back.

The 57-year-old is scheduled to have surgery in the coming days.

“The entire Fire organisation is stunned by Chris’ diagnosis, and our only hope now, is a full and speedy recovery,” Fire General Manager Richard Goodbody said.

“The WNBL is a tight-knit community, and as a collective, we will be sending our best wishes to Chris, his family and the Adelaide Lightning.

“The only things that truly matters at this moment is for Chris to make a full recovery.”

Having won back-to-back championships as an assistant to Lucas, Fire coach Claudia Brassard acknowledged that her mentor was meticulous with his planning and expected he would be no different in his approach to recovery.

“Chris is – and always has – been a fighter and this is no different,” Brassard said.

“We’ve been through a lot together, and I have no doubt that he will tackle this, and it won’t be long before we see him back behind a clipboard making the league tough for the rest of us.”

On behalf of the board, coaches, players and management, we wish Chris Lucas a full and rapid recovery.