Flamboyant American Derrick Washington has been re-appointed Launceston Tornadoes coach for 2019.
Washington guided the Torns to their first championship final in eight years during his debut season, and chairwoman Janie Finlay is confident continuity will breed success.
“It has always been the intention of the club and Derrick that he would return next year,” Finlay said on Tuesday.
“The club is coming off another great season both on and off the court and it was important for us to continue the momentum we have gained over the past few seasons.
“We have seen him have an immediate impact with our club; with player development such as Lauren Nicholson being named SEABL MVP, young Ellie Collins recruited to play with WNBL side Perth and some of our juniors playing extended minutes; and the team reaching the championship final for the first time since 2010.”
Known for his passionate court-side antics, Washington said he is glad to have the deal sorted before he heads home to Dallas for a short break.
He will return in January to start a pre-season program with Tasmanian-based players.
“The future looks very bright for our club and I look forward to working with the local players to prepare them for another big season,” he said.
“There is no question that it is an extremely exciting time to be a part of the Tornadoes’ basketball program and I am proud to be a part of it.”
The Tornadoes are still working with Basketball Victoria on the details of the new league but it is understood the timing of the new competition will be similar to the SEABL competition (March to August) and will include many of the same teams that the Tornadoes previously competed against.