WIN Entertainment Centre
|Location||Wollongong, New South Wales|
|Team colors||Red and White
|Main sponsor||Multi Civil and Rail|
|General manager||Kim Welch|
|Head coach||Rob Beveridge|
|Team captain||Oscar Forman|
The Illawarra Hawks are an Australian men's professional basketball team competing in the National Basketball League (NBL). The team is based in Wollongong, New South Wales. They won the NBL championship in 2001 and finished as runners-up in 2005 and 2010. The team's home venue is the WIN Entertainment Centre (WEC), known as "The Sandpit" within the NBL. The Hawks are the only remaining NBL club to have competed in every season since the league's inception in 1979 without relocating to another city.
The club was originally known as the Illawarra Hawks, the name referring to the Illawarra region rather than specifically its major urban centre, Wollongong. The club changed its name to Wollongong Hawks after the 1998 season; the team also adopted a new logo and moved to the new 6,000 seats capacity WIN Entertainment Centre.
Prior to 1998 the Hawks played out of the Beaton Park Stadium, commonly known as "The Snakepit", located in Gwynneville, a suburb of Wollongong close to the city centre. The Snakepit had a reputation among players and coaches as one of the most feared venues in the league. Despite being only small (capacity 1,800), the fans were packed in close to the action making for an awesome atmosphere. The Snakepit is still in use by the Hawks as a training venue and for pre-season matches.
During the 2007–08 season, the Hawks experienced significant financial difficulty and as a result, the team was nearly forced to withdraw prior to the completion of the season. In response, a community ownership plan was developed, the Friends of the Hawks, along the lines of the Green Bay Packers of the American NFL.
In February 2009, captain Mat Campbell started the "Save the Hawks" campaign to make sure the last remaining foundation club would still exist in the National Basketball League. 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.
On 14 July 2014, an Extraordinary General Meeting was held where members voted unanimously for a change in the club's constitution to allow telecommunications entrepreneur, James Spenceley, to become the club's new owner. Following a dismal 2014–15 season, the organisation was dealt a substantial off court blow with Wollongong Coal pulling out of 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 club announced that the team would revert to its original name, Illawarra Hawks, to better reflect that the team not only represents the city of Wollongong, but also the surrounding area including the city of Shellharbour, the town of Kiama and the Wingecarribee Shire.
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.
|Illawarra Hawks season summary|
|1980||6th (13-9)||-||Dr. Adrian Hurley||
|1981||8th (9-13)||-||Joe Farrugia|
|1982||9th (11-15)||-||Tom Pottenger|
|1984||4th (13-11)||Elimination Finalist||
|1985||5th (10-16)||-||Ted Weston|
|1986||5th (15-11)||Semi Finalist||
|1987||3rd (20-6)||Semi Finalist|
|1992||5th (13-11)||Quarter Finalists|
|1993||6th (15-11)||Quarter Finalists||
|1994||8th (13-13)||Quarter Finalists|
|1995||7th (14-12)||Quarter Finalists|
|1997||11th (7-23)||-||Matt Zauner|
|1998||6th (14-16)||Elimination Finalists||
|1998–99||3rd (16-10)||Semi Finalists|
|1999–00||8th (11-17)||-||Eric Cooks|
|2001–02||4th (16-14)||First Round|
|2002–03||4th (18-12)||Semi Finalists|
|2003–04||2nd (28-8)||Semi Finalists||
|2004–05||2nd (20-12)||Grand Finalists|
|2005–06||3rd (19-13)||Quarter Finalists||Rotating Captaincy|
|2009–10||2nd (16-12)||Grand Finalists||
|2012–13||3rd (13-15)||Semi Finalists||
|2013–14||4th (13-15)||Semi Finalists|
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 Beaton Park Stadium for twenty seasons starting from the club's inception in 1979. They continue to use the stadium as a training facility and play pre-season games there also.
|Illawarra Hawks roster|
|C||Andrew Ogilvy||Larry Davidson|
|SF||Kirk Penney||Tim Coenraad|
|SG||Kevin Lisch||Kevin White|
|PG||Rhys Martin||Tyson Demos|
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.
|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
|NBL Championships:||1 (2001)|
|NBL Finals Appearances:||18 (1984, 1986–87, 1992–95, 1998–99, 2001–06, 2010, 2013, 2014)|
|NBL Grand Final appearances:||3 (2001, 2005, 2010)|
|NBL Most Valuable Players:||Mike Jones (1981), Gary Ervin (2011), Rotnei Clarke (2014)|
|NBL Grand Final MVPs:||Glen Saville (2001)|
|All-NBL First Team:||Doug Overton (1992), Melvin Thomas (1993), Darnell Mee (2005), Cortez Groves (2006), Tywain McKee (2010), Gary Ervin (2011), Rotnei Clarke (2014)|
|NBL Coach of the Year:||David Lindstrom (1987), Alan Black (1993,'95), Brendan Joyce (1999, 2001), Gordie McLeod (2010, 2014)|
|NBL Rookie of the Year:||Greg Hubbard (1987), Justin Withers (1989), Axel Dench (2001)|
|NBL Most Improved Player:||C. J. Bruton (2001), Cameron Tragardh (2008), Oscar Forman (2011)|
|NBL Best Defensive Player:||Glen Saville (2003), Darnell Mee (2005)|
|NBL Best Sixth Man:||Adris Deleon (2013), Kevin Tiggs (2014)|
Source: NBL AWARD WINNERS
|List of Illawarra Hawks MVP award winners|
|1980||Not awarded||1990||Norman Taylor||2000||Glen Saville &
|1981||Not awarded||1991||Norman Taylor||2001||Glen Saville||2011||Gary Ervin|
|1982||Not awarded||1992||Doug Overton||2002||Melvin Thomas||2012|
|1983||Not awarded||1993||Melvin Thomas||2003||Glen Saville||2013|
|1984||Not awarded||1994||Melvin Thomas||2004||Glen Saville||2014||Rotnei Clarke|
|1985||Not awarded||1995||Melvin Thomas||2005||Glen Saville||2015|
|1986||Not awarded||1996||Terry Johnson||2006||Cortez Groves||2016|
|1987||Not awarded||1997||Clayton Ritter||2007||Adam Ballinger||2017|
|1988||Not awarded||1998||Clayton Ritter||2008||Kavossy Franklin||2018|
|1989||Norman Taylor||1999||C. J. Bruton||2009||2019|