Head Coach of the UC Capitals for the past six years, Paul Goriss, will finish up with the club at the end of the 2021-22 season.
Goriss has accepted a WNBA coaching opportunity with more details to be announced in the coming weeks.
The Australian Opals Assistant Coach led his team to playoffs three out of the past five seasons and is on the cusp of clinching a finals spot once again.
He won WNBL Coach of The Year for the 2019-20 season after winning back-to-back championships and driving the club to its ninth WNBL title.
Above all, Goriss wanted to thank the players and fans.
“I could not be in this situation if it wasn’t for the UC Caps taking a chance on a first time rookie WNBL coach back in 2016.
“There have been many highs and lows but winning back-to-back championships in front of Canberra and our amazing fans is for sure the biggest highlight as a head coach for me.
“None of this was possible without the players who have worked so hard for me and the club. These athletes sacrifice so much and turn up every day and give it their all.
“I have to thank especially Kelsey Griffin and Marianna Tolo for being the driving forces on and off court to our success and to making me a much better coach and person. They are the real heroes and have helped me grow as a coach and rebuild the Caps program to championship winners and contenders.
“There have been so many very special players like our imports Kia Nurse, Olivia Epoupa, Kaili McLaren and Britt Sykes who have invested themselves in our team, city and culture.
“I have been able to develop young talent like Keely Froling, Maddy Rocci, Abby Cubillo, Jade Melbourne and Ezi Magbegor into future stars of Australian women’s basketball.
“Our people behind the scenes, including staff, coaching staff, volunteers and fans, have contributed to mine and our team’s success and I want to thank them.
“I especially want to thank my family for standing by me through the good and bad times.
“This journey has been well worth it for me to and to do it with great people and players like Griffin, Tolo, Kelly Wilson, Leilani Mitchell, Britt Smart and Mikaela Ruef has been the icing on the cake.
“I have done my job here the right way and I set out to achieve bringing success back to the UC Caps with Kelsey and Tolo’s help.
“Now I get to go and live my dream coaching in the WNBA.”
Goriss will leave for the United States shortly after his coaching commitments with the UC Capitals ends this season, which will likely be in finals.
“The opportunity Sandy Brondello and Basketball Australia gave me to be an Assistant Coach with the Opals has provided me the pathway to experience senior women’s international coaching and this has helped me grow as a coach and continue to learn about coaching and international trends.
“It is a tremendous opportunity to go and coach in the best women’s basketball league in the world.
“It’s an opportunity I have only dreamed about but never thought would come to fruition. It’s a great acknowledgment of my hard work, dedication, commitment and coaching over many years at both junior and senior levels in Australia and internationally, but especially in WNBL and with the Opals.
“To be one of only a few Australian coaches to have coached in the WNBA is exciting, but a lot of players, coaches, mentors, friends, and family have helped me get to this destination in my career.”
The UC Capitals have just three games left of the regular season, adding extra motivation to this championship pursuit with a bittersweet end in sight.