28 July 1953 |
Glendale, California, United States
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
SE Melbourne Magic
South Dragons (Club not selected by the reformed NBL)
|Head coaching record|
Brian Goorjian (born Glendale, California) is an American-Australian basketball coach. He is the most successful coach in Australian basketball history. In an NBL coaching career spanning over 20 years since his debut with the Eastside Spectres in 1988 Goorjian has won six championships: two with the South East Melbourne Magic, three with the Sydney Kings and one with the South Dragons. With a win ratio of over 70% Goorjian heads Lindsay Gaze as the most winning coach in NBL history and became the second man after Gaze to coach 600 games. Goorjian was also coach the Australian national team, the Boomers, from 2001-2008. Goorjian traveled to China after he finished his commitment with the Boomers in 2009. He became the Coach in General of Dongguan Leopards, a growing team in CBA. He led the Leopards Youth Team to win Championship of the Chinese National Youth League in July, 2009, who only ranked in the 9th position in 2008. With a great success, Goorjian is expected to be promoted as the head coach for the senior team in the 2010-2011 CBA Season.28 July 1953 in
- 1 Life and early career
- 2 Senior coaching career
- 3 Reputation & Achievements
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Life and early career
Brian Goorjian was born in Glendale, California. He has at least partial Armenian ethnicity. Goorjian first arrived in Australia in 1977 to play for the Melbourne Tigers under Lindsay Gaze. In 1984 he captained the Melbourne Tigers in their first National Basketball League season. Goorjian's coaching career began in 1985 as assistant coach with the Geelong Supercats.
Senior coaching career
Eastside Spectres 1988-1991
Goorjian's first head coaching job came in 1988 when he coached the Eastside Melbourne Spectres. The team missed the finals in Goorjian's first two seasons (amazingly, these two seasons would be the only time a Goorjian-coached team did not qualify for the play-offs). In 1990, the Spectres bowed out in the semi-finals and the next year they went one better by making the Grand Final. They lost this final, however, and in the off-season Goorjian moved to the South East Melbourne Magic.
South East Melbourne Magic 1992-1998
Success at the Magic came instantly, as Goorjian won the first of his six championships, and the first of his five Lindsay Gaze Coach of the Year awards, in 1992. Three consecutive semi-final losses were followed by a second championship, and another Coach of the Year award, in 1996. Two Grand Final losses were to follow, however, and Goorjian again moved to another Melbourne side, this time linking with the Victoria Titans.
Victoria Titans 1998-2002
Amazingly, the agony was to continue for Goorjian as his two Grand Final losses at the Magic were followed by two more Grand Final losses at the Titans, making a total of four consecutive Grand Final defeats for Goorjian. Aside from being the only coach in Australian history to lose four consecutive grand finals, he was unable to add to his trophy cabinet at the Titans as two semi-final eliminations followed.
Sydney Kings 2002 - 2008
The Sydney Kings capitalised on the Titans' controversial decision to part ways with Goorjian after the 2002 season, and he moved north to replace the San Antonio Spurs-bound Brett Brown. What followed was a period of success unrivalled in Sydney's history. Three titles came in the space of four seasons as the Kings swept all before them. Goorjian, who had brought his captain Jason Smith with him from the Titans, coached Sydney to five Grand Final series in six years, despite being forced to constantly re-build the team after each season. He won his fifth Lindsay Gaze Coach of the Year award (an Australian record) as the Kings went 27-3 during the 2007-08 regular season. However, they were unable to turn this success into a fourth championship, going down narrowly to the Melbourne Tigers.
South Dragons 2008
On April 1, 2008, Goorjian signed a three-year contract with Melbourne club South Dragons, and signed Mark Worthington from his Sydney Kings squad to join him at the Dragons. Goorjian led the Dragons to the 2008/09 NBL title (the club's inaugural championship) in his first season with them.
Australian national team
Goorjian has coached the Boomers from 2001–2008 and was the first foreign born coach to hold this position. Under his tutelage, the Boomers qualified for the 2004 Athens Olympics, where they finished ninth, dropping five places from their 2000 finish. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the boomers improved their ranking to finish 7th.
Dongguan Leopards 2013
Brian Goorjian is the current head coach of the Dongguan Leopards.
Reputation & Achievements
Having won over 400 games at a winning percentage of 70% Goorjian's record exceeds that of Australian coaching legends in the other major professional leagues including Kevin Sheedy (AFL - 365), Allan Jeans (AFL - 358), Tom Hafey (AFL - 336), David Parkin (AFL - 306), Wayne Bennett (NRL - 294 wins) and Tim Sheens (NRL - 235). In 2003 the NBL Hall of Fame selection committee voted Brian Goorjian the best coach of the first 25 years of the National Basketball League. In one of the notable statistics in sport, Goorjian-coached teams have finished no worse than the semi-finals every year since 1990. He has also coached teams to a record 12 grand finals and won 'Coach of the year' on 5 occasions.
Goorjian is also known for his intense coaching style (contrasting the laid back style of his early mentor Lindsay Gaze). His former assistant coach Bill Tomlinson says the detail he paid to defence was notable, as was the emphasis on strength and conditioning which often made Goorjian coached teams the fittest in the league. He said he sat down for his first six games in 1988, which he lost, and has stood during games ever since.
He is known for a defensive style which brings success but also boredom to fans. It is perhaps an unfortunate conincidence but fact nonetheless that every team he has coached at national league level has folded.
- NBL Championships: (6) 1992, 1996, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2008–09
- Play-off appearances: (19 consecutive) 1990–present
- Grand Final Appearances: (13) 1991, 1992, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1998–99, 1999–00, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2007–08, 2008–09
- Coach Of The Year: (5) 1992, 1997, 1998, 2001–02, 2007–08, 2008–09
- Most NBL games coached
On October 10, 2013, Goorjian was named the coach of the Sydney Kings 25th Anniversary Team.
- Brian Goorjian celebrityspeakers.com
- Why Goorjian is king of the court The Age, March 19, 2005
- Goorj named NBL's best
- Goorj completes Dragons move foxsports.com.au April 1, 2008
- Smith vows to breathe new life By Grantley Bernard April 16, 2008
- BRIAN GOORJIAN Australia’s most successful ever Coach
- That winning feeling for long time coach Brian Goorjian
- The Life of Brian Goorjian The Canberra Times, September 2006
- Thousand games beckons Goorjian FOX Sports News, January 24, 2007
- MightyMite Sydney Kings announce 25th Anniversary Team
- Video interview with Brian Goorjian @ fiba.com
|NBL Coach of the Year