Mike Kelly, welcome to Cairns.
Fresh from winning the 2018 NBL Championship, the CQUniversity Cairns Taipans are proud to announce the signing of MIKE KELLY as Head Coach for the next two seasons.
Kelly joins the Club after completing a comprehensive recruitment process that featured a strict and specific criteria; and was selected over applicants boasting coaching experience from the NBA, NBA G-League, NBL and European Leagues.
Taipans President Troy Stone said that process of fulfilling the highly-coveted role, through the Board and external consultancy, was one that put Cairns and the NBL on a pedestal.
“We’d like to thank all of the candidates that were interested in the role. It was a complex application with various stages and we completely appreciate that time and effort it would have taken to apply, so thank you to those individuals,” said Stone.
“I cannot stress enough about the quality and overall excellence of candidates that we’ve had as options for this position. It’s been a real testament to our Club, our supporters and the city of Cairns – that’s something we should all be proud of.
“And, while it has been lengthy process, we couldn’t be happier with the outcome and I think the our Club partners and Taipans fans are going to love what Coach Kelly brings.”
Kelly has a tremendously rich NBL history, recently assisting Melbourne United to their first NBL Championship and has been part of their coaching ranks since 2015.
His coaching background also includes assistant roles in Wollongong (2006-07) and Townsville (2013-14); as well as coaching in the American college system with Vanguard University (2007-08) and Utah Valley University (2009-2013).
As a player, Kelly won a Championship with the South East Melbourne Magic (1996-97) and was named the NBL’s Best Defensive Player twice; suiting up for the Victoria Titans (1998-99) the Townsville Crocodiles (2000-04) and the Wollongong Hawks (2005) throughout his career.
Taipans CEO Mark Beecroft said it was Kelly’s versatile basketball IQ, previous NBL success and reputation throughout the League that made him the standout candidate.
“On behalf of the Club, the Board and the front office – we are thrilled about this new appointment, and cannot wait for Mike to join our team. He has an incredible character, and possesses all the qualities and values we were looking for.
“He has so much respect from players and other coaches in the League, we just couldn’t pass him up. It’s common knowledge in basketball circles that Mike would soon be at the helm of an NBL team, and we are fortunate he’s taking that step up with us,” said Beecroft.
“He has the basketball intelligence, and he knows how to win a Championship. He’s got the experience, he’s got the connections and most importantly, he knows what it’s like to be on both sides of the white line.
“He understands players and knows how to relate and communicate with them; while also being a leader that will set the tone for a group of guys to get out there and do something special on the court.”
Originally from the Southern California; Kelly will come to Cairns within the next fortnight, with his wife Annette and three children making the move shortly after.
“It goes without saying – I cannot wait to be part of this organisation, I’m ready for this role and I am so excited for this new chapter for myself, my family, and this fantastic Club.
“I’ve admired the Taipans for many years – the way they represent their city, the hours they put in to the community and the way they’ve competed on the floor,” said Kelly.
“The Taipans have a reputation for their culture, with strong values that reflect the Cairns community, and I will be embracing and building on that ethos.
“I’m looking forward to working closely with Mark [Beecroft] and recruiting a talented, up-tempo team that Cairns will be proud of.
“It’s too early to talk roster right now, but I can guarantee it will be a team that competes every single day, and next season is going to be a lot of fun.”
The CQUniversity Cairns Taipans welcome Mike to the organisation, and congratulate him on his new position.