The Southland Sharks have commenced recruitment of a new Head Coach for the 2023 New Zealand National Basketball League following news that Rob Beveridge will not return next season.
Beveridge, who became the Sharks' Head Coach ahead of the cancelled 2020 NBL season, coached the Sharks over the last two seasons but a new Perth-based role has meant he is unable to spend another five-month stint in Invercargill next year.
"I am just so thankful to the entire Sharks organisation for the experience over the last two years. I knew it was a high quality organisation but the way in which the club and its supporters stood behind me this year is something I will never forget," Beveridge said.
The coaching legend, has endured a long comeback from injury after his well-publicised six-metre fall from the roof of his Illawarra home, whilst home for a planned visit during last season. He sat out six games mid-season, before going against medical advice to return to New Zealand to help the Sharks to three wins over their final five games to end a challenging season on a positive note.
"Last season was definitely not the way I wanted to go out (with the Sharks), but I came back for one reason, and that was to pay back our incredible community for all their love and support after my fall. It's taken a real toll on me physically and I've still got some way to go but I would do it the same way again, because I just couldn't sit there and watch and do that to our fans," he said.
Sharks Basketball Board Chair Nick Jeffrey paid tribute to Beveridge for his contribution to the Sharks.
"We as an organisation feel very honoured to have had Bevo as part of our programme. We all knew his calibre as a coach before he came but I don't think any of us knew the true calibre of the man. We all have a mate for life and I can't begin to do justice to all that he has done over the last three years for the Sharks," Jeffrey said.
"They are incredibly large shoes to fill. But we said the same after Paulie (Henare), Judd (Flavell) and Rich (Dickel), so I know whoever is appointed next will help take us forward into a hugely exciting future for the Sharks and for the Sal's NBL," he said.
Applications for the vacant Head Coaching role are now open with a replacement expected to be confirmed this month.
The 2023 Sal's NBL will commence in April with season tickets to the Sharks' nine home games in 2023 going on sale in December.