Scott Morrison resigns as Perth Wildcats coach as turmoil engulfs NBL's most successful club


Perth Wildcats coach Scott Morrison has resigned as the turmoil engulfing the NBL’s most successful club continues.

Morrison has quit due to “family reasons” which the Wildcats said would require him to return to North America.

The Canadian exits the club after just one season in charge, during which Perth missed the NBL playoffs for the first time in 35 years.

Morrison’s departure comes just days after the club sacked long-time chief executive Troy Georgiu under what new owner Sports Entertainment Network called a desire for “further integrating and aligning the organization” within the business.

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It means the Wildcats will have had three coaches in the space of just 12 months, with Morrison’s tenure preceded by the departure of Trevor Gleeson to pursue a career in the NBA.

Perth has won five of the last nine NBL championships and a record 10 titles overall, with the most recent coming in the 2020 season.

Bryce Cotton and the Wildcats missed last season’s playoffs and now need a new coach.(Getty Images: Paul Kane)

‘Difficult decision’: Morrison

Morrison said while it was a difficult decision, when forced to choose between his professional life and what was best for his wife and children, there was only one option.

“Our children’s best chance to thrive is closer to family in a more familiar environment,” he said.

“It is with great emotion that I make this announcement, but in the end, I feel that I’m doing what is most important in the big picture, which is making a decision that will best help our young children in the short and the long run.

“At the end of the day the choice came down to a potential risk of regret in terms of a parent, and a potential risk in my career, which is what we’re choosing.”

He admitted it was sad to leave off the back of a disappointing season, which saw the club’s historic playoff run come to an end.

Scott Morrison and the Wildcats teamScott Morrison and the Wildcats team
Under Morrison, the Wildcats failed to make the NBL playoffs for the first time in 35 years.(AAP: Richard Wainwright)

“The only frustrating thing was when people would say that I didn’t really want to be there because that was the furthest thing from the truth, I think it’s the exact opposite.

“I feel bad that I didn’t deliver I guess what our goals were when I was hired, for the team, and if there’s a regret. It’s just that I can’t go back and try to meet those goals.”

‘Family comes first’, say Wildcats

Prior to Morrison’s departure, the club had strongly endorsed him to continue in the role, even after missing the playoffs.

The Wildcats said they were disappointed to lose Morrison but understood that “family comes first”.

“The club will now undertake an extensive search process to appoint a new head coach,” the Wildcats said in a statement.

As the Wildcats prepare to begin the search for both a new coach and CEO, and also deal with the recent departures of a number of other staff, they’ve been forced to reject suggestions they’re a club in crisis.

“No not at all, we’ve got a really exciting future,” said Craig Hutchison, chief executive of Sports Entertainment Network, which owns the Wildcats.

“These series of events are not in sequence, they’re just timed as they’ve happened, Scott’s situation is peculiar to this time, and we absolutely feel bullish about the team that we can and will build.

“We’d ask everyone to judge us on our performance this summer on the floor and not necessarily what happens between now and then.”

Posted 6h ago6 hours agoThu 23 Jun 2022 at 3:12 am, updated 2h ago2 hours agoThu 23 Jun 2022 at 6:48 am


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