The Franklin Bulls have announced their first ever Sal's NBL head coach.
Over the past few weeks the Bulls management have undergone a process of advertising and interviewing for the head coaching role to take the Bulls into its inaugural season. The search is now over.
The team had more than 40 applications for the role and one candidate emerged and has now officially signed on as the 2020 Head Coach.
Australian-born coach, Liam Simmons (pictured centre) is now the man tasked with leading the Bulls in its first season.
“When we interviewed Liam it was clear that our goals lined up. As a team we want to be seen to always be pushing the envelope, growing our player base and building for the long term. Liam is 100% on board with not only the development of the Bulls and helping us put a playoff and championship team together, but he is also passionate about developing our Franklin players. He’s worked along-side some of the biggest names in basketball and has the backing of some of the best in the business. And while this will be Liam’s first official professional head coaching role, he has the experience to get the most out of our players and help them achieve their personal goals as players.“ Jamie Reddish, General Manager of the Bulls.
“We are excited to welcome Liam and his family back down-under to grow a long term relationship with basketball in Franklin. These are exciting times for basketball in the Auckland region."
Liam has already begun the recruitment process and the Bulls will be announcing players starting this week.
Liam comes to the Franklin Bulls with wealth of knowledge and a ton of passion. Known for being a high-energy competitor, Simmons brings a community minded leadership style that is anchored in – family, faith and developing a strong culture of success. Simmons prides himself on being a coach who builds genuine relationships with his players and cares about their personal development and success both on and off the court.
Simmons comes from a basketball family with his father playing in the (Australian) NBL for 15 years, and his youngest brother competing in the NBA. Liam has forged his own path as a coach over the last 14 years. He has spent the majority of his career coaching at the collegiate level in the USA, building a reputation as a tireless worker and skilled recruiter within the NCAA college coaching community.
This past season Liam stepped away from the college basketball world to focus his effort and energy specifically on enhancing the skills of individual players. As an NBA skill development coach, he has worked with several NBA players, including high profile Australian players Ben Simmons and Dante Exum.
Liam based himself in Philadelphia and worked parallel with the Philadelphia 76ers staff last season, supporting their coaches in the development of Ben Simmons. While Ben Simmons was instrumental in his team’s success throughout the season and playoffs, his tireless hard work with Liam was rewarded when he received the individual honour of his first NBA All Star selection and a maximum contract offer from the Philadelphia 76ers.
Prior to working as an NBA skill development coach, Liam has built his coaching career within the collegiate basketball world within the USA. His most recent stop was at the University of California Riverside as an assistant coach, under Australian Head Coach David Patrick. While with the Riverside Highlanders, Liam played a key role in signing NZ born Callum McRae to the program.
During his 8 years as a collegiate coach, Liam has worked at Southwest Baptist University, where he held the title of Associate Head Coach and recruited current NZ Breakers star Finn Delany. Liam has also made stops at Nicholls State University and San Diego Christian College.
Liam’s passion for the game is infectious and he has a heart for mentorship, family and community. Liam comes to the Franklin Bulls with his wife Tiffany and their son Noah.
(photo credit: NBA.com)
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