NBL coaching legend Rob Beveridge will coach the SIT Zero Fees Southland Sharks in 2020.
The man affectionately known as “Bevo”, takes the coaching reins from Judd Flavell who has relocated to Australia to help guide the South East Melbourne Phoenix in the Australian NBL, following four years at the helm of the club.
Beveridge, who was recently inducted into the Basketball New South Wales Hall of Fame, has coached over 300 NBL games, guiding the Perth Wildcats to a title in 2010 and most recently a successful four-year stint with the Illawarra Hawks, highlighted by a Grand Final appearance in 2017.
Sharks General Manager Jill Bolger is delighted the Club has been able to secure the services of Beveridge for next season.
“When someone like Judd steps away, after being such a big part of our organisation, you naturally have some concerns on how you fill shoes like that, but with Rob, everything just fell into place,” Bolger said.
“He’s a quality coach, has great relationships with players and he will build on the culture we’ve worked so hard to put in place over our ten years in the League and put his own stamp on it. We have always been a people-first organisation and that’s how Bevo operates. To say we’re delighted is an under-statement,” she said.
Beveridge himself shares Bolger’s excitement.
“To be honest it was an easy decision. I’ve got a great relationship with Judd and when he reached out to see if I would be interested and we spoke about the club it just felt like a perfect fit. I’ve been in the coaching game for 27 years and you always have your ups and downs. What I’ve found is that your ups are always when you have the right people around you,” he said.
“I’ve had opportunities with a few other organisations over the last few months, which I’ve turned down. This one felt right. It’s a great organisation with good people and that came through loud and clear when I spoke with players who have been down to Southland. When you have quality men like Nick Kay or Jarrad Weeks raving about the club, you go on that first-hand experience.”
"I’ve got an incredibly supportive family who have been through the highs and lows with me, so when I was happy, they were happy. I can’t wait to get over there in a few weeks to meet our people and start the process for next year,” Beveridge said.
His Sharks’ predecessor, Judd Flavell, initiated the conversation and played a key role in securing Beveridge’s signature.
“I’m genuinely happy. I still feel like the Sharks is my baby, so to have someone I trust take it over is a great result,” Flavell said.
“I think the programme is in a great place. Bevo will be able to come in, concentrate on basketball and help take it up another level again.”
“For me and my family, I’m just hugely grateful for the last four years. The culture in Southland has enabled me to grow personally and professionally. I’m a better coach and a better person because of my time at the Sharks.”
“Invercargill means so much to our family and it will always have a place in our hearts. For me, it certainly is a case of “see you later” not goodbye. I know we will be back,” Flavell said.
The 2020 Sal’s New Zealand National Basketball League is schedule to tip-off in early April, with finals scheduled for late July.
ILT Stadium Southland will also play host to the NBL’s newly launched 3X3 National Cup on 28 and 29 May, featuring the SIT Zero Fees Southland Sharks and every NBL franchise, along with potential future expansion teams, the Franklin Bulls and Otago Nuggets.