|Arena||WIN Entertainment Centre|
|Location||Wollongong, New South Wales|
|Team colors||Red, white|
|General manager||Mat Campbell|
|Head coach||Rob Beveridge|
|Team captain||Kevin White|
|Retired numbers||5 (4, 5, 12, 32, 33)|
The Illawarra Hawks are an Australian professional basketball team based in Wollongong, New South Wales. The Hawks compete in the National Basketball League (NBL) and play their home games at WIN Entertainment Centre, known colloquially as "The Sandpit". The Hawks are the only remaining NBL team to have competed in every season since the league's inception in 1979. The team won their first and so far only NBL Championship in 2001 and finished as runners-up in 2005, 2010 and 2017.
The Illawarra Hawks began as a team in the New South Wales Men's Division 1 championship before joining the National Basketball League (NBL) for its inaugural season in 1979. The Hawks played out of Beaton Park Stadium, commonly known as "The Snakepit". In 1981, import Mike Jones was named NBL Most Valuable Player. In 1987, the Hawks had their best season to date, finishing in third place with a 20–6 record. In 1998, the team was renamed the Wollongong Hawks and moved into WIN Entertainment Centre.
The 2000/01 season marked history for the Hawks as they won their maiden NBL Championship. Prior to the start of the season, coach Brendan Joyce changed almost half his roster, adding Charles Thomas, Damon Lowery, Grant Kruger, Matt Shanahan and Axel Dench. After finishing the regular season in fourth with a club-best 21 wins from 28 games, Wollongong upset Perth in the first round of the post-season before conquering Adelaide when Lowery sunk three free throws with no time on the clock in game three of the semi-final series. The Hawks went on to beat Townsville 2–1 in the grand final to capture the team's only title.
The Hawks returned to the NBL Grand Final in 2004/05, where they lost to the Sydney Kings. In 2009/10, they made their third appearance in the grand final series, this time coming up short to the Perth Wildcats. In 2010/11, import Gary Ervin was named MVP of the league, becoming the first Hawk to win the award since Mike Jones in 1981. In 2013/14, import Rotnei Clarke was named MVP of the league, becoming the third Hawk to win the award.
In February 2009, captain Mat Campbell started the "Save the Hawks" campaign after the ownership group declared the team would not be able to join revamped league in 2009/10 on financial grounds. Campbell and his small team reached their goal, thanks to the commitment of the Illawarra community, naming rights sponsor ahm Health Insurance, and a bank guarantee provided by Indian mining magnate Mr. Arun Jagatramka from Gujarat NRE. A not-for-profit community-based company formed as Wollongong Hawks Basketball Limited is established to operate the Hawks into the future.
In July 2014, a new era was ushered in by the Hawks after Telecommunications entrepreneur James Spenceley was successful in his bid to become the organisation's new owner. However, following a dismal 2014/15 season, the organisation was dealt a substantial off-court blow with Wollongong Coal withdrawing their major sponsorship 1½ years into a five-year contract. The Hawks subsequently decided to place themselves into Voluntary Administration on 2 March 2015. On 25 March 2015, the Hawks secured Multi Civil and Rail as their major sponsor, as the company committed to a one-year deal.
On 22 June 2015, the organisation announced that the team would revert to its original name, the Illawarra Hawks, to better reflect not only the city of Wollongong, but also the surrounding area including the city of Shellharbour, the town of Kiama and the Wingecarribee Shire.
Following long-time coach Gordie McLeod's departure, Rob Beveridge was signed as head coach for the 2015/16 season. He nabbed the trio of New Zealand sharp shooter Kirk Penney, big man AJ Ogilvy, and US point guard Kevin Lisch. The trio were dubbed "the three-headed monster", but they were unsuccessful in leading the Hawks to a championship, falling short in the semi-finals. Lisch was named MVP of the league, becoming the fourth Hawk to win the award.
With Lisch and Penney departing after one season, the Hawks reacquired the serves of Rotnei Clarke for the 2016/17 season. He helped them reach the NBL Grand Final for the first time since 2010, where they were defeated 3–0 by the Perth Wildcats.
Name, logo and uniforms
The team's colours are red and white. The logo consists of a red hawk with smaller text "Illawarra" centered above the larger text of "Hawks". The Hawk is holding a basketball in its talons. Predominately red uniforms are used for home games, and predominately white uniforms for away games.
The Illawarra Hawks play their home games at WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong. WIN Entertainment Centre opened in September 1998 with a concert by Bob Dylan and Patti Smith. It holds a capacity of 6,000 seats when in full basketball format. The Illawarra Hawks are the only full-time tenants at the arena. The Hawks have been playing at the arena since the 1998–99 NBL season.
Prior to this season, the Hawks played out of the 2,000 seat Beaton Park Stadium (also known as the Illawarra Basketball Stadium) for twenty seasons starting from the club's inception in 1979. One story that evolved around the NBL during the 1980s was that the Illawarra Steelers rugby league team would sit behind the opposition bench during Hawks home games at Beaton Park in a bid to intimidate the opposing team. The Hawks continue to use the stadium as a training facility and also play some pre-season games there.
|Illawarra Hawks retired numbers|
|5||Gordie McLeod||G||1979–1982, 1984–1988|
|12||Glen Saville||G/F||1995–2007, 2008–2013|
|33||Melvin Thomas||F||1992–1995, 1999–2003|
Source: Retired Numbers
Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.
|Illawarra Hawks roster|
Updated: 12 October 2018
There have been ten different head coaches for the Hawks during their history. Charlie Ammit was the first coach of the Hawks to take the team to a finals series when his side finished fourth in the regular season with a 13-11 record. Brendan Joyce was the first coach to both win the Championship (in 2000–01) and claim runners-up (in 2004–05). He was also the first coach to claim runners-up in the regular season (in 2003–04). Both Joyce (2004–05) and Gordie McLeod (2009–10) have the unfortunate honour of claiming the runners-up prize in both the regular season and finals series in the same year. Eric Cooks became the first captain of the club (1999–00) to also become a coach (2006–2009). McLeod is the only other captain (1980–1982 and 1984–1988) to have accomplished this when took over from Cooks in 2009.
Season by season
|Illawarra Hawks season summary|
|1980||6th (13–9)||–||Dr. Adrian Hurley|
|1981||8th (9–13)||–||Joe Farrugia|
|1982||9th (11–15)||–||Tom Pottenger|
|1983||7th (4–18)||–||Mike Jones|
|1984||4th (13–11)||Elimination Finalist|
|1985||5th (10–16)||–||Ted Weston|
|1986||5th (15–11)||Semi Finalist||Dave Lindstrom|
|1987||3rd (20–6)||Semi Finalist|
|1989||11th (7–11)||–||Chuck Harmison||Norman Taylor|
|1990||8th (13–13)||–||Norman Taylor|
|1991||13th (6–20)||–||Norman Taylor|
|1992||5th (13–11)||Quarter Finalists||Doug Overton|
|1993||6th (15–11)||Quarter Finalists||Alan Black||Melvin Thomas|
|1994||8th (13–13)||Quarter Finalists||Melvin Thomas|
|1995||7th (14–12)||Quarter Finalists||Melvin Thomas|
|1996||10th (9–17)||–||Terry Johnson|
|1997||11th (7–23)||–||Matt Zauner||Clayton Ritter|
|1998||6th (14–16)||Elimination Finalists||Clayton Ritter||Clayton Ritter|
|1998–99||3rd (16–10)||Semi Finalists||C. J. Bruton|
|1999–00||8th (11–17)||–||Eric Cooks||Glen Saville & Melvin Thomas|
|2001–02||4th (16–14)||First Round||Glen Saville|
|2002–03||4th (18–12)||Semi Finalists||Glen Saville|
|2003–04||2nd (28–8)||Semi Finalists||Glen Saville|
|2004–05||2nd (20–12)||Grand Finalists||Glen Saville|
|2005–06||3rd (19–13)||Quarter Finalists||Rotating Captaincy||Cortez Groves|
|2006–07||10th (11–12)||–||Adam Ballinger|
|2007–08||11th (9–21)||–||Kavossy Franklin|
|2008–09||7th (9–19)||–||Glen Saville|
|2009–10||2nd (16-12)||Grand Finalists||Larry Davidson|
|2010–11||5th (15–13)||–||Gary Ervin|
|2011–12||8th (9–19)||–||Oscar Forman|
|2012–13||3rd (13–15)||Semi Finalists||Adris Deleon|
|2013–14||4th (13–15)||Semi Finalists||Rotnei Clarke|
|2014–15||8th (6–22)||–||Tim Coenraad|
|2015–16||3rd (17–11)||Semi Finalists||Rob Beveridge||Kevin Lisch|
|2016–17||4th (15–13)||Grand Finalists||Rotnei Clarke|
|2017–18||5th (12–16)||—||Kevin White||Demitrius Conger|
Trophies and awards
- Championships (1): 2001
- Grand Final Appearances (4): 2001, 2005, 2010, 2017
- Finals Appearances (20): 1984, 1986, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1998–99, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2009–10, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2015–16, 2016–17
- Glen Saville – 2001
Source: NBL AWARD WINNERS
Records and statistics
|Most games||527||Glen Saville|
|Most points||6865||Glen Saville|
|Most rebounds||4041||Glen Saville|
|Most assists||1847||Glen Saville|
|Most steals||776||Glen Saville|
|Most blocks||423||Glen Saville|
|Most field goals||2511||Glen Saville|
|Most 3-pointers||1049||Mat Campbell|
|Most free throws||1163||Glen Saville|
|Most points in a game||54||Norman Taylor, 18 May 1990|
|Most 3-pointers made in a game||10||Charles Thomas, 29 December 2001|
|Most assists in a game||18||Gordie McLeod, twice|
|Most blocks in a game||7||3 players|
|Most steals in a game||9||Elliot Hatcher, 13 March 1998|
|Most rebounds in a game||23||Ray Borner, 9 May 1987|
- "Season by Season". HawksHistory.com.au. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
- "FLASHBACK 4: August, 1977, ABM". botinagy.com. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
- Barrow, Tim (24 February 2016). "Lowery believes in Hawks' title destiny". illawarramercury.com.au. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
- "2000/01 - Wollongong Hawks : NBL Champions". hawkshistory.com.au. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
- Hawks under new Ownership
- Hawks Announcement
- Wollongong Hawks Announcement
- Wollongong Hawks land new sponsor
- Hawks revert to original Illawarra moniker
- We're the Illawarra Hawks and we're flying to the top #FlyYouHawks
- Illawarra Hawks on how they got their wings back
- "Hawks MVP/Honour Roll". hawks.com.au. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
- Tim Keeble (26 February 2015). "Coenraad rewarded with MVP for Hawks". Illawarra Mercury. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
- Glen Saville announces his retirement from the National Basketball League