Leading Ipswich coach sad to leave after decade of success
IPSWICH Force has lost one of its most successful coaches with Brad George heading to South West Metro in an unexpected change of direction.
Fresh from meetings to confirm his future, George will start training this week with the Pirates women's team at his new Mt Gravatt base.
George is moving on after 13 years in the Ipswich basketball program, including nearly a decade as state league head coach.
He cited communication issues with Ipswich Basketball and an opportunity to coach a promising young side as reasons for his departure.
"I didn't want to leave and said I would coach QSL (the revamped Queensland State League starting next month),'' George said.
"But I just hadn't heard anything back for a long time and I was just disappointed with how they've handled a few things . . . communicated over the last 18 months.
"I said yes to South West. It's a bit of a change, a new challenge.
"A change is as good as a holiday.''
George will work with the South West Metro team involved in the restructured QSL competition starting next month. He'll use that series in South East Queensland as an opportunity to assess and prepare players for next year's NBL1 North competition.
The 2021 NBL1 will be an expanded format, based on the previous Queensland Basketball League.
Ipswich Basketball Association president and Force men's head coach Chris Riches confirmed city stalwart Terry Lindeberg would guide the women's side in the upcoming QSL.
Lindeberg has an impressive record of success with Force junior teams and as an assistant state league coach over many years.
Riches said a thorough process to recruit a new women's head coach would be conducted leading up to next year's NBL1 series.
During nine seasons as Force women's coach, George guided Ipswich to QBL finals every year.
The Bremer State High School teacher is proud of that achievement, having developed some fine youth talent without the big budgets of other state league teams.
One of his strengths was building a strong team culture.
George also had a stint in 2015/16 as assistant coach of the South East Queensland Stars that played in the Women's National Basketball League competition.
Riches wished George well as Ipswich basketball prepares for a new era.
"Brad has been a massive part of our women's program in regards to its establishment and development in recent years,'' Riches said. "And that's been a big factor in the success that they've had and we wish him all the best in his new endeavours.
"We appreciate what Brad has done for us over a long period of time.''
With a young family, George left the door open to returning to Ipswich in the future.
He said highly regarded Force captain and former national league player Bree Farley would join him at the Pirates.
"I'll work with a lot of young kids,'' George said. "It's an opportunity to really help progress their young players.''
George expected a number of other established Force players to remain in Ipswich for the QSL and NBL1 series.
In a major boost for fans, the Courier-Mail and News' regional titles are working with Basketball Queensland to ensure livestream coverage of some QSL games and many junior competitions from next month through September and October.