After finalising their #NBL20 playing group, Illawarra Hawks Head Coach Matt ‘Flinny’ Flinn has now locked in his coaching staff for the upcoming season.
Eric Cooks will return to his long-standing role as Assistant coach after many years working alongside Flinny. The former Hawks player has a long history with the club, becoming the first Captain to become a coach in 2006. Cooks also spent three seasons as tenure Head Coach for the Club so will provide great support as Flinny’s right hand man in his first year as Head Coach. Cooks strengths and responsibilities include scouting, game preparation and performance review.
Joining him on the bench will be another Hawks veteran, Tyson Demos. Born and bred in the Illawarra, the former shooting guard has embraced his dual role as Assistant Coach and Community and Indigenous Programs Manager. Demos was previously named the clubs’ Defensive Player of the Year on three occasions and earned the reputation of a hardworking defender during his nine-year career in the NBL. His role as Assistant Coach focuses on the defensive development of the team. Demos was also a big driving force behind last season’s first inaugural Indigenous game held by the Hawks.
American Professional Basketball Player Cortez Groves will undertake the role of Individual Pathways Coach to the team. Groves attended Kansas State College before venturing to the NBL. An explosive prolific scorer, Cortez come to the club from 2002-2003 and again from 2005-2007. During that time, he was selected in the All NBL First Team, 2005/2006 NBL All-Star Team and as well as being named club MVP that same year. After a successful career in the NBL, Groves’ sole focus is the pathways programs of up-and-coming players including the pathway program of players trying to break into the NBA and Senior National Teams.
Another Illawarra local, Ben Bagoly, has also been added to the coaching ranks to fill the role of Technical Assistant Coach. Ben previously spent two years working with the Western Sydney Wanderers A-League team and is an expert with sports codes and basketball analytical statistics. He also comes in for his first year at the Hawks and as the team’s Technical Assistant, Ben provides the coaching staff with ongoing analytical and advanced statistics on individual players and teams around the league.