David Herbert resigns from Supercats
PREMIERSHIP-winning Geelong Supercats female coach David Herbert has resigned from the NBL1 club, little more than a month after signing a three-year contract, blaming a declining culture.
Appointed as coach in 2014, Herbert, who also held a prominent coaching role with the Australian Gems at this year's under-19 FIBA World Cup, stood down from the Supercats late last month.
After signing a new deal tying him to the Supercats in September, he departed as director of coaching at the club in favour of roles with Western Heights College and Basketball Victoria, before deciding to step away from coaching all together.
"I’m not comfortable in the current environment, that’s why I’ve stepped away from coaching," Herbert said yesterday.
“The situation was, realistically, I had a three year deal. I had the full support of the board and I just don’t like the current environment at the moment.
“I know I have the full support of the group. They’re basically trying to convince me to coach again.”
Herbert will move his family from Yarraville to Geelong in November — a decision he made after accepting the contract extension — but has since found he cannot work with the club any longer.
The highly regarded mentor guided the Supercats to a breakthrough SEABL Championship title in 2017 and has passionately advocated for basketball in the region.
The Supercats were part of an amalgamation between Basketball Geelong (the Supercats’ governing body) and Corio Bay Stingrays earlier this year, which formed Geelong United.
“I felt that I wanted to keep the 10 hours (a week coaching), but with everything going on in the background I thought it wasn’t feasible anymore and for my own mental health and the stress and anxiety I was dealing with, I wouldn’t pursue it any longer,” he said.
“I’m just disappointed that I can’t do what I truly love and that’s coaching that group of players.”
Mark Neeld said he isn’t aware of any cultural issues at Geelong United. United chief executive Mark Neeld oversaw the merger after starting with Basketball Geelong in February and said he was unaware of any cultural issues within the organisation.
“(Herbert told United) with everything going on, coaching an NBL1 side at the moment is not something he can commit to,” Neeld said.
“When you bring two associations together, people will work in a different way so there’s a bit of an adjustment to that.
“Everything is coming together and joining as one. I wouldn’t call them growing pains, it’s just getting used to the way things work.”
The Supercats enjoyed a successful run during Herbert’s five-year tenure, which included a grand final defeat this year.
He previously had stints in Canberra and Townsville.
The Gippsland native said he was yet to receive a reply to the resignation email he sent to United on September 29 and would not consider a return to the Supercats unless there was “a fair bit of change” in the organisation.
“The merger, I think it’s a great thing for the region, I really do,” he said.
“The ultimate dream for me was to get a team into the WNBL from this region.”
The search for Herbert’s replacement is underway.
“We have spoken to a number of people over the last few days. We will be narrowing our search quickly,” Neeld said.
“We will take the appropriate amount of time to find the right candidate.”