WIN Entertainment Centre
|Location||Wollongong, New South Wales|
|Team colors||Red and White
|General manager||Kim Welch|
|Head coach||Rob Beveridge|
|Team captain||Kevin White|
|Ownership||James Spenceley & Simon Stratford|
|Retired numbers||5 (4, 5, 12, 32, 33)|
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, 2010 and 2017. 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. The Hawks' feeder team, also known as the Illawarra Hawks, formerly competed in the Waratah League before withdrawing in 2015.
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 competed in the New South Wales Men's Division 1 championship before joining the National Basketball League (NBL) for its inaugural season in 1979. 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.
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|
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|
|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|
|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||
|2004–05||2nd (20–12)||Grand Finalists||Glen Saville|
|2005–06||3rd (19–13)||Quarter Finalists||Rotating Captaincy||Cortez Groves|
|2008–09||7th (9–19)||–||Glen Saville|
|2009–10||2nd (16-12)||Grand Finalists||
|2010–11||5th (15–13)||–||Gary Ervin|
|2011–12||8th (9–19)||–||Oscar Forman|
|2012–13||3rd (13–15)||Semi Finalists||
|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|
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.
- Seahawks saved from extinction
- Seahawks latest basketball team to bite dust
- Hawks' feeder team collapses
- "FLASHBACK 4: August, 1977, ABM". botinagy.com. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
- 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
- "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