The lure of working at a big association was behind the decision of Gerard Hillier to join the Wyndham Basketball Association.
Hillier is a successful coach at a number of different levels and he has worked with both Basketball Victoria and in club land.
He joins Wyndham as its new Player and Coach Development Manager.
Hillier said it was exciting to join a club like Wyndham.
“It’s a big club and big growth area which has a lot of good pathways and good programs already,” he said.
“I grew up in Yarraville so I’m a western suburbs boy. I was at Southern Pen for the last 10 years.
“Southern Pen is a small club, I wanted to look for a bigger club. Wyndham is in that growth corridor and there’s so many options.”
Hillier, who was the Sharks Director of Coaching and Pathways, coached just about every level of basketball at Southern Peninsula,
He also was Australian head coach for the 3X3 team for the Youth Olympics.
Hillier replaces Reece Potter in the role, with Potter moving back to Sydney.
With the two men sharing a friendship, Hillier already has plenty of knowledge of the Wyndham program.
“Reece and I worked side by side and mentored each other with our programs and everything at club land
I’ve got a good grip on the program and we’re well positioned to move forward again.”
Hillier, who started the role last week, said while the focus will be on helping further develop all their programs further, the first step was a simple one.
“After COVID-19 the immediate challenge is getting all young players and senior domestic players back playing again.
“Obviously this has been an extremely challenging time for everyone in our sport, but it has been heartening to see players and coaches continue to commit to improvement through online sessions.
“I would love to talk about championships and winning things, but getting local players back playing basketball again is the most important thing.”
Hillier said they would continue to grow the pathway and look to bolster their senior programs and try and get more local players in those teams.
He said there would be some junior players move into the Big V program next season.
“We not only want to be a big program, but a program filled with locals,” he said.
“We want to bring a few junior players into the program to help develop them and for the longevity of the program.”
The Devils are starting to put their rosters in place for next season. Boomers legend John Dorge is back as men’s coach, while the club is set to announce a new women’s coach in the coming weeks.
Potter, who had a dual role at the club, was also coach of the women’s side.
Hillier said he would likely do some coaching at the club as well.
WBA General Manager Craig Armstead said Gerard would be a terrific asset for our association.
“Gerard’s resume speaks for itself, with experience across all levels of basketball, and his commitment to improvement during his time at Southern Peninsula really stood out for the WBA Executive,” Armstead explained.