Opals coach Brendan Joyce.
Opals coach Brendan Joyce. Mark Nolan / Getty Images

Former NBL coach Brendan Joyce to lead the Aussie Opals

TWO-time NBL coach of the year Brendan Joyce has been appointed the first full-time coach of the Australian women's basketball team, the Opals, in more than a decade.

As part of his role, Joyce, who guided the Wollongong Hawks to their first and only NBL championship in 2001, will also become head of the women's program at the Basketball Australia National Centre of Excellence at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.

He is no stanger to international duty, having been the assistant coach of the Australian men's team, the Boomers, between 2001 and 2009.

That stint included the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, and 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Joyce, who played 289 NBL games with the Nunawading Spectres and Brisbane Bullets between 1979-1991, said he was looking forward to the challenge.

"The Opals have medalled at the last five Olympic Games, making them one of Australia's most consistent women's national teams. That's an achievement not to be underestimated," he said.

"We've talked a big game about success at the Olympics, and now it's time to back that up. In my opinion, it's not about what we say; it's about what we do."

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