Brian Goorjian named Boomers coach

Brian Goorjian has been selected as the next head coach of the Australian Boomers.

Basketball Australia announced the appointment on Friday (AEDT), with the six-time NBL Coach of the Year taking over from Brett Brown, who stepped down after less than a year in the position.

BA announced Goorjian will lead the Boomers at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and has been appointed through to the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

"I am honoured to be appointed as the men's national coach and I am looking forward to the challenge. Being reunited with some of the guys I previously coached at the Beijing Olympics is an exciting prospect," Goorjian said.

"Australia is very fortunate to have such a talented group of athletes at this time. There is certainly a feeling of unfinished business, so there is a strong commitment from these players to participating in the Tokyo Olympics.

"I will be sitting down with Basketball Australia over the coming days to get fully briefed on their existing plans as we start the road to Tokyo and beyond."

Goorjian is familiar with the Australian men's national program, having coached the Boomers at both the 2004 Athens Olympics, and the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Over the 2020 off-season, Goorjian ran Boomers camps out of Melbourne, working out members of the extended Australian national team roster for months.

NCA NewsWire's Matt Logue was first to report that Goorjian had been selected as the Boomers' new head coach.

Goorjian, 67, was Basketball Australia's preferred selection from the beginning of the process, and conducted interviews with Trevor Gleeson, Dean Vickerman, and Rob Beveridge, sources said. The Boomers' NBA core of players had a desire for a coach who they were familiar with, sources said; Goorjian fit that description.

Goorjian has been at the helm of five different NBL teams over the course of a coaching career that's spanned more than 30 years, winning two titles with the South East Melbourne Magic (1992, 1996), three with the Sydney Kings (2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05), one with the South Dragons (2008-09), and now with the Hawks.

The California-born Goorjian's success in Australia saw him become the Boomers coach from 2001 to 2009, before his career took a turn abroad; his most recent stint coming with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers in the Chinese Basketball Association.

Goorjian's first major tournament as new head coach of the Boomers will be the 2021 Tokyo Olympics; an event that was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with fears of it being cancelled altogether still persisting. The Boomers program, currently FIBA's third-ranked team in the world, has never won a medal at a major international tournament, finishing in fourth-place five separate times.

Goorjian's appointment as Boomers head coach will not impact on his role with Hawks in the NBL.