The 2018 Queensland Basketball League coach of the year, Mike St-Maurice, has informed Townsville Basketball he will not be returning for a third season at the helm of the Dennis’ Computers – A.Gabrielli Constructions Townsville Flames. After two stellar seasons as the head coach of the Flames, which included a minor premiership and grand final appearance in 2018, St-Maurice has stepped down from the role in which he transformed the Flames into one of the elite teams in the QBL. With his commitments as a Townsville Fire assistant coach and finding a balance between Basketball and family life taking priority, St-Maurice leaves the program in a much better place than when he assumed the role prior to the 2017 season. Townsville Basketball is disappointed to lose the reigning coach of the year as a leader of the Flames program, but are extremely grateful for the contributions which Mike has made to the development of the team in establishing the Flames as the benchmark women’s program in the QBL.

Townsville Basketball General Manager Greg Vanderjagt shared his thoughts on the departure of St-Maurice from the Flames head coach role; “The last two years working alongside Mike in the Flames program have been an absolute pleasure. He has been a consummate professional at all times in our program and helped turn the Flames program into a championship contender in his first season at the helm of the team after some lean years for the Flames. What Mike has been able to achieve as the head coach of the Flames is a credit to the hard work he does behind the scenes and how he has developed himself personally as a senior women’s head coach. He made a leap in 2017 from an U14 girls state championship coach, to a senior coach for the first time and we could not be happier with the direction in which Mike has steered the program over the past two seasons”

“His strengths as a coach are what the program needed when he took the role, he has built great relationships on and off the court and has represented our association with pride. The time he committed to the Flames program has gone far and beyond our reasonable expectation, but this dedication to his team has been reflected in the results of our team the past two years”.

The Flames have compiled a 31-10 record in two seasons with St-Maurice as a head coach, a record only trumped by Southern Districts as back-to-back champions. He has guided the growth and development of our junior athletes in graduating from the junior to senior level, offering future stars such as Haylee Andrews, Alex Fowler, Majella Carey, Harriet Carey and Shaina Pacey the opportunity to contribute to the team’s success and set up the Flames program for the future. He has also invested in the professional development of no less than six national team representatives during his time as head coach with players from Australia and New Zealand seeking opportunities to be a part of the Flames program and play for Mike.

St-Maurice shared some parting thoughts on his time with the program “I am extremely proud of what I was able to accomplish with this group over the past two years. I built some great relationships with the playing group, coaching staff and support staff. I want to thank Greg in particular for offering me this opportunity to expand and challenge myself at the professional level. Together we built one of the most successful programs in the QBL over the past two seasons. It was an honour to be part of such a professional outfit and to experience it from that perspective. Greg has done a great job of throwing time and resources into the women’s program to be able to compete with the big spenders in Central Queensland and Spartans. I have no doubt the 2019 group will be competing for a championship”.

At the conclusion of the 2018 season, we discussed as a family what we wished to set as our goals and spending time together sits right at the top. Whilst I will miss being a part of the 2019 group, I will be returning as a fan to support them”

We would like to extend an enormous thank you to Mike for his hard work, dedication and commitment to the Flames program over the past two seasons. It takes a truly special individual to contribute what he has to a program and Townsville Basketball is lucky to have had a coach of his calibre lead our team.

Townsville Basketball will now undertake a search for a new head coach to lead the Flames program in 2019 with a vision to have a new coach appointed prior to the end of November.  



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