The Eltham Wildcats Basketball Club is pleased to announce its 1st team coaching appointments for the 2018/19 Junior Championship season. Interviews were completed for the positions by selection panels put together by Directors of Coaching; Chris Cameron (Boys) and Ben Cukier (Girls), before being agreed to by the relevant Championship Committees and have therefore gone through a thorough process.
As Basketball Victoria’s “2017 Junior Program of the Year” we work hard on educating and developing coaching teams that will provide local players with the best opportunities to achieve their goals and we believe the appointments for 2019 demonstrate that. Our coaching team has extensive background as players of a high level with international, college and national level experiences; and/or individuals that have devoted themselves to the art of coaching junior basketball coaching.
Our 1st team appointments are individuals who have dedicated themselves to not only improving their own players, but have bought into the family culture of the Wildcats, one that tries to develop other coaches and players from different teams, not just their own. Each 1st team coach will also play a mentoring role to a junior coach who will be an Assistant and in most cases another Assistant Coach to help provide extra eyes and hands to enhance the development of all.
We look forward to announcing further coaching appointments in the week ahead. As many of the positions will involve parent coaches, we will not name specific teams to coaches, as many of the appointments will be dependent upon the selection of the child into a team.
12/1 Girls -Frank Drmic
Frank is well known in Australian basketball circles having played in the NBL and overseas for over 10 years. He made his mark internationally with both the Australian U19 Men’s team in Greece where the team won Silver at the World Championships and then in 1997 in the U23 World Championships where he won Gold on home soil. But then, he took it further representing the Boomers at the World Championships in Greece in 1998 and then for international games in 1999. Having played in the NBL from 1996-2002, Frank then took up a playing contract initially in Greece, before moving on to playing opportunities in Belgium and Germany.
In recent years, Frank has invested many years into coaching at both the domestic and championship levels of junior girls and his teams have become well recognised for their strong fundamentals that he instils and a strong work ethic.
We are very pleased to have someone with Frank’s knowledge and background leading our youngest female players.
12/1 Boys -Carly Stones
Carly continues her strong presence in the U12 age group. Having played a hands-on role at domestic level for the last seven years, her first year in 2017 as our 12/1 Boys Coach saw the team finish 2nd at the National Classic and then go onto win the State Championship. Throughout the year, like any good coach she looked to extend her knowledge, most notably as an Assistant Coach to the 14/1 Boys and also to the Youth Women’s team.
In 2018, Carly was once again 12/1 Boys Head Coach, but took on extra extension when she was appointed Head Coach for our Youth Women’s team and Assistant Coach to the Wildcats team that came 6th at the Jr NBA World Championships in Orlando.
We have no doubt that the U12 Boys team will be well led and educated in basketball development, but also learn strong lessons for their future.
14/1 Girls -Greg Jeffers
Greg will take on his 20th straight season of VJBL coaching in 2019; his 9th at Eltham. In that time, he has coached teams that have won National Junior Classic titles (U14 Boys and U18 Boys) with two Runners-up (U12 Boys and U14 Girls) along with a VC title and multiple qualifications to U14 National Club Championships. He has also coached for many years in the senior program, with the highlights being a State Championship for Women in 2011 and Runners up in the 2018 Victorian Youth Championship Men’s competition.
On top of his VJBL and Senior program commitments, Greg was the Australian coach for the FIBA World Youth Camp in Istanbul in 2010, Head Coach for Vic Metro teams at the Southern Cross Challenge on 3 occasions and was apart of Basketball Victoria’s NITP/ITC for 12 years; whilst continuing to coach domestic along the way over a 22 year period for Koonung and Eltham.
14/1 Boys -Dean Gluyas
Going into his 3rd season at Eltham, we are incredibly lucky to have had Dean Gluyas developing his junior coaching within our ranks. With an extensive coaching background particularly in older teenage and Youth Men’s grades, Dean took it upon himself to re-educate himself in the lower age groups, taking on teams where he could build his own skill base, whilst learning from some of the best junior coaches in Victoria. He has been duly rewarded with the 14/1 Boys for 2019.
But don’t be mistaken for thinking Dean is inexperienced. Prior to joining the Eltham junior program, Dean was recognised as one of Victoria’s leading coaches as the U23 level. He coached Nunawading Spectres Youth Men (U23) in the State Championship competition from 2010-2013 where he was announced as ‘Coach of the Year’ in 2011. He has been a Basketball Victoria NITP coach, a state team ‘Selector’ and was an Assistant Coach to the Senior Men’s team at Nunawading.
Eltham’s reputation as one of the leading junior programs in Victoria is enhanced further with the appointment of Dean Gluyas to the 14/1 Boys team.
16/1 Girls -D’Wayne Hogan
We are excited to see D’Wayne lead our 16/1 Girls team once again for 2019. In 2017, D’Wayne was appointed to the 14/1 Girls where they had a successful season qualifying for the U14 National Club Championships and finishing 3rd. In 2016-18, D’Wayne has been the Assistant Coach with the State Championship Women’s team where he has been able to develop his coaching under strong leadership of Katrina Hibbert and Ben Cukier. D’Wayne was recognised for his strength in coaching youth girls, as he was appointed an Assistant Coach for the Vic Metro U15 Girls at the Southern Cross Challenge. For VJBL in 2018, D’Wayne has coached our 16/1 Girls and returns in the same position for 2018/19. D’Wayne is a current Basketball Victoria NITP coach and was involved with 2018 Victoria Metro U16 Girls National Championship winning team during their trial process.
D’Wayne’s coaching background goes back further than listed above. From 1992-2001, he was Head Coach of a variety of boys and girls teams ranging from U14-U18 including multiple VC teams. With extensive experience in coaching high level teenage athletes, D’Wayne is well placed to provide strong development for our U16 Girls.
16/1 Boys -Chris Cameron
A coach who gained extensive playing experience in the NCAA for University of Louisiana at Lafayette and then within the NBL and SEABL; Chris has become a major figure in the local region for basketball, thanks to being the Wildcats Championship Boys Director of Coaching, a leading player of our State Championship Men’s teams and also as a teacher at the local Montmorency South Primary School. Having previously assisted as a Director of Coaching at Nunawading, Chris was recruited to Eltham for the role in the interests of helping make the program one of the leaders in Victoria.
Under his leadership, the boys program has won multiple National Classic titles, Victorian Championship titles, a National Championship and had the club represented at the inaugural Jr NBA World Championships, whilst also seeing Eltham recognised as Basketball Victoria’s “2017 Junior Program of the Year”. Chris in recent years has coached many junior domestic Wildcat teams, the 14/2 Girls in the VJBL in 2018 and he now steps into the role of 16/1 Boys for 2019, one where the boys will have the opportunity to be extended and transitioned into senior basketball. He was also selected as an Assistant Coach for Victoria Metro U15 Boys in 2018, recognition for his standing in the coaching fraternity.
18/1 Girls -Matt Holland
Matt will lead our 18/1 Girls team once again for 2019. Matt was our Youth Women’s Head Coach for four years and also spent two years as Head Coach for the State Championship Women’s team at Eltham. Previously Matt had coached a junior and senior team, but in 2018 with a young family, reduced his workload by focussing just on one team; the 18/1 girls and it reaped benefits for Matt and his team with National Classic qualification and VC finals.
With a strong background in coaching young players whom have gone onto state, national and international opportunities and scholarships in the USA, Matt is well placed to lead the U18 girls in an environment that is enjoyable for the teenage girls; whilst also challenging their basketball skills and helping take them to the next level. As with 2018, our 18/1 Girls will be closely tied with the Senior program with opportunities to train/play with the Youth and/or Senior team.
18/1 Boys -Craig Stratford
Prior to 2015, Craig Stratford was just a dad of the club who’d played at a high level and was coaching in domestic hoops for the Wildcats and was well appreciated by local mum’s and dad’s. In 2015 he was appointed to the 14/2 Boys and quickly developed a reputation as a strong developer of talent and a high level of management and care of young players. He was promoted in 2016 to the 14/1 team, a team that went onto win the National Classic title. Following up with the 14/1’s in 2017, Craig’s boys finished with a bronze at the National Classic, silver in the Victorian Championship but then went onto win the U14 National Club Championships in October 2017. After winning this event, Craig and his team were selected to represent Asia-Pacific at the Jr NBA World Championships in Florida where they finished 6th in the world.
In 2018, Craig coached the 14/1 Boys again leading the team to the National Classic title and at the time of writing is back in the Final Four of the Victorian Championships, whilst also preparing to defend the National Championship in October. He has also completed his second year as an Assistant Coach to our Senior Men’s team, where they lost the State Championship Grand Final.
Just recently Craig was announced as the 2019 Victoria Metro U18 Boys Assistant Coach; reward for his basketball achievements at a junior level. Craig will tie the 18/1 Boys in closely within Eltham’s senior program continuing the strong pathway from juniors to senior of years gone by.