Illawarra Hawks

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Illawarra Hawks
Illawarra Hawks logo
Leagues NBL
Founded 1979
History Illawarra Hawks
1979–1998, 2015–present
Wollongong Hawks
Arena The Sandpit
WIN Entertainment Centre
Arena Capacity 5,673
Location Wollongong, New South Wales
Team colors Red and White
Main sponsor Multi Civil and Rail
General manager Australia Kim Welch
Head coach Australia Rob Beveridge
Team captain Australia Oscar Forman
Ownership Australia James Spenceley
Championships 1 (2001)
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Home jersey
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Team colours
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Away jersey
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Team colours

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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3][4] On 25 March 2015, the Hawks secured Multi Civil and Rail as their major sponsor, as the company committed to a one-year deal.[5]

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.[6][7]

Name, logo and uniforms[edit]

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.

Season-by-season records[edit]

Illawarra Hawks season summary
Season Results Finals Coach Captain
8th (5-13)
Joe Farrugia
Bob Kubbinga
1980 6th (13-9) - Dr. Adrian Hurley
Gordie McLeod
1981 8th (9-13) - Joe Farrugia
1982 9th (11-15) - Tom Pottenger
1983 7th (4-18) -
Charlie Ammit
Mike Jones
1984 4th (13-11) Elimination Finalist
Gordie McLeod
1985 5th (10-16) - Ted Weston
1986 5th (15-11) Semi Finalist
Dave Lindstrom
1987 3rd (20-6) Semi Finalist
1988 7th (11-13) -
1989 11th (7-11) -
Chuck Harmison
1990 8th (13-13) -
1991 13th (6-20) -
1992 5th (13-11) Quarter Finalists
1993 6th (15-11) Quarter Finalists
Alan Black
1994 8th (13-13) Quarter Finalists
1995 7th (14-12) Quarter Finalists
1996 10th (9-17) -
Brendan Joyce
1997 11th (7-23) - Matt Zauner
1998 6th (14-16) Elimination Finalists
Clayton Ritter
1998–99 3rd (16-10) Semi Finalists
1999–00 8th (11-17) - Eric Cooks
2000–01 4th (21-7) Champions
Mat Campbell &
Glen Saville
2001–02 4th (16-14) First Round
2002–03 4th (18-12) Semi Finalists
2003–04 2nd (28-8) Semi Finalists
Mat Campbell
2004–05 2nd (20-12) Grand Finalists
2005–06 3rd (19-13) Quarter Finalists Rotating Captaincy
2006–07 10th (11-12) -
Brendan Joyce, Eric Cooks
Glen Saville
2007–08 11th (9-21) -
Eric Cooks
Mat Campbell
2008–09 7th (9-19) -
2009–10 2nd (16-12) Grand Finalists
Gordie McLeod
2010–11 5th (15-13) -
2011–12 8th (9-19) -
2012–13 3rd (13-15) Semi Finalists
Oscar Forman
2013–14 4th (13-15) Semi Finalists
2014–15 8th (6-22) -


Home arena[edit]

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.

Current roster[edit]

Illawarra Hawks roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Ht. Wt.
G 2 Australia Demos, Tyson 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in) 92 kg (203 lb)
F 7 Australia Forman, Oscar (C) 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in) 103 kg (227 lb)
F/C 10 Australia Davidson, Larry 2.08 m (6 ft 10 in) 105 kg (231 lb)
SG 11 United States Lisch, Kevin (I) 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) 88 kg (194 lb)
PG 13 Australia Martin, Rhys 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) 84 kg (185 lb)
SF 22 Australia Coenraad, Tim 1.99 m (6 ft 6 in) 97 kg (214 lb)
C Australia Ogilvy, Andrew 2.11 m (6 ft 11 in) 115 kg (254 lb)
G Australia White, Kevin 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) 90 kg (198 lb)
G/F New Zealand Penney, Kirk 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in) 98 kg (216 lb)
PF Australia Ellis, Cody 2.02 m (6 ft 8 in) 110 kg (243 lb)
Head coach
  • Australia Rob Beveridge
Assistant coach(es)
  • United States Eric Cooks
  • Australia Matt Flinn

  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Development player
  • (I) Import player
  • Injured Injured

Updated: 10 August 2015

Depth chart[edit]

Pos. Starter Bench Bench Reserve
C Andrew Ogilvy Larry Davidson
PF Oscar Forman Cody Ellis
SF Kirk Penney Tim Coenraad
SG Kevin Lisch Kevin White
PG Rhys Martin Tyson Demos

Head coaches[edit]

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.

Retired jerseys[edit]

Illawarra Hawks retired numbers
No. Player Position Seasons
4 Chuck Harmison F/C 1979–1986
5 Gordie McLeod G 1979–1982, 1984–1988
12 Glen Saville G/F 1995–2007, 2008–2013
32 Mat Campbell G/F 1996–2012
33 Melvin Thomas F 1992–1995, 1999–2003

Source: Retired Numbers

Honour roll[edit]

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)


Club MVP[edit]

List of Illawarra Hawks MVP award winners
1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s
Year Name Year Name Year Name Year Name
1980 Not awarded 1990 Norman Taylor 2000 Glen Saville &
Melvin Thomas
2010 Larry Davidson
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


External links[edit]