Jets Head Coach Paul Smith has today confirmed that he is stepping down as coach of the first team after 10 years of service. Coach Smith who has a long history with the Jets as a player, manager and now Director of the club has appointed Assistant Coach John Lavery to take over as Head Coach of the pro team.
“The right thing to do now is to concentrate on other aspects of the Jets business, I’ll still be involved with the club pro team and I’ll be on hand to help Coach Lavery throughout his first season. John is a really experienced coach with a rich Jets history and I have total faith that he is the right person to take over. My work will focus on helping the team to build Headcoach, our management consultancy business “
“I have many great Jets memories not only of the players and teams over the years but also of the fans who support us week in week out. I think our fans are the best in the league and I hope they all join me in welcoming Coach Lavery into the position”
Coach Lavery is heading up the summer recruitment alongside Smith. Both men have played for the Jets throughout their career. John joined the Jets as a player back when he was 23 and has been part of the Jets organisation on and off for over six years. He was also part of the winning team that secured the clubs first trophy in 1991.
Coach Lavery said;
“I’m really excited about this opportunity; it’s something that I have been working towards since I re-joined the Jets coaching team. Paul isn’t leaving the Jets he is just taking a step back from the pro team but he’ll be around to help out. We’ve known each other for over 20 years so I really couldn’t ask for anyone more experienced to bounce ideas off during my first season”
“When people ask what I will bring to the position I’d like to think that my experience within British basketball will speak for itself. I’ve played for a number a British clubs at both junior and senior level including England. Paul and I have similar coaching strategies the only main difference I think is that I’m a more vocal tactician”
With recruitment for the 2011/12 season already underway Coach Lavery has spoken about his desire to build a squad for the future.
“My main goal is to put together a squad that we can build upon not just for this season but for the seasons to come to give the team more of a feeling of consistency. The team that I’m working on will be a young team. Obviously it is my desire to win a trophy but more importantly to build a team that will bring home trophies”
Talks are ongoing contact wise but there seems to be a main goal for the rookie coach;
“I’m really keen to bring back Matt Schneck, he had an incredible first season in the BBL. Matt was the league leader in rebounding and put in a double double almost every game he played. I know other teams in Europe are interested and even some BBL teams but we’re flying Matt over for the Jets summer camp to continue negotiations”
Speaking about the fans reaction to the news Coach Lavery had this to say;
“I want the fans to know its business as usual at the Northgate, I’m going to give 100 percent to this role and with the caliber of coaching team behind me we’re going to push for a season to remember.”
Peter Hawkins Director of The Jets added;
“This key move will help us progress as an organisation both on and off the court and I’m sure I join everyone in thanking Paul for some great times as head coach and wishing John the very best in his new role.”
In the meantime discussions continue with Ron Artest and his representatives and we hope to bring an update soon.
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