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Joyce to coach new franchise

Published: 1:23PM Thursday January 18, 2007 Source: AAP

Former Wollongong Hawks mentor Brendan Joyce will coach the new Gold Coast franchise for the 2007/08 NBL season.

The yet-to-be-named club said today Joyce would take up a "multi-year contract".

Gold Coast director Dave Claxton said the appointment of the Australian Boomers assistant coach was a big boost for the club's inaugural season.

"Brendan's NBL record speaks for itself, having coached the Hawks to a championship in 2001, two grand finals and seven final fours in his 12 years with the club," Claxton said.

"The Gold Coast board was unanimous in its decision to actively seek out the services of Brendan.

"His experience as an NBL coach and passion for the game will play a crucial role in putting together a winning combination for the club."

Joyce said he was excited about being given a fresh opportunity to take the reins at the Gold Coast after Wollongong sacked him last month.

The Hawks board claimed he failed to curb what it labelled "unsatisfactory behaviour and offensive language" while standing courtside during matches.

"I've always loved the Gold Coast lifestyle and to be working with management staff who are so energetic and passionate about building a successful team in the region, life as a coach doesn't really get any better," Joyce said.

"The biggest plus for me is that there's a clean slate to work from.

"Everything from naming the team and partnering with sponsors to deciding on who'll be taking the court in game one is yet to be decided, so the role of coach will take on a new meaning for me."

The fans will vote to decide the Gold Coast club's name on the website from a list of four choices - Heat, Waves, Flyers and Marlins - or they can submit their own suggestion.

The most popular choice will be announced in mid-February.

The new team will play its home games at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre from September.