THE Adelaide 36ers have resigned three-time NBL Coach of the Year Joey Wright to a club record five-year contract that will see him through until 2022.
New Sixers owner Grant Kelley today declared Wright was “one in a million” and the ideal man to lead the club through what he describes as its championship window.
“I had dinner with Joey in January and told him then that regardless of what happens, I see him as the bedrock for our culture and future,” Kelley said.
“He is our technical leader and our spiritual leader and I truly want Joey to finish his coaching career with and in Adelaide.”
Wright, 48, in his first 2013-14 season took Adelaide from last into the grand final, and to the play-offs in two of his three subsequent seasons.
His feat of taking a young 36ers team most tipped to finish eighth to the 2016-17 regular season championship earnt him his third Coach of the Year award.
Last year he signed his second three-year deal with the club but Kelley’s new offer supercedes that contract and would take him to nine years at the helm.
“I want Joey to be rewarded for the talents he brings to our organisation,” Kelley said.
“He is fantastic and a warrior.
“He focuses on the process and success is an outgrowth of that.
“He has a very sensible approach to long-term success, coupled with passion and more than enough Alpha male on game day.”
Kelley firmly believes the 36ers, with their younger line-up, have entered a five-year championship window and Wright is the man to bring the silverware back to Adelaide.
The 36ers have not won a championship since 2002.
“I feel Joey is at the peak of his powers,” Kelley said.
“Late 40s, early 50s is a time when you have the maturity and the energy.
“We see him as a multiple-championship winning coach for us.
“His intelligence alone made him a ‘must have’ appointment.”
Phil Smyth, who coached the 36ers for 11 years from 1998-2008 remains Adelaide’s longest-serving NBL coach, with championship successes in 1998-99-02.
Yet even during Smyth’s extended tenure, his great service never was rewarded with a five-year extension.
Adelaide has retained Mitch Creek, Daniel Johnson, Matt Hodgson, Brendan Teys, Anthony Drmic and Majok Deng from last season’s semi finalist.
Imports Terrance Ferguson and Eric Jacobsen will not be back in Sixers’ blue and the club remains in negotiations with league MVP Jerome Randle who now is playing in France.
It is keen to retain Nathan Sobey and has United import/free agent Ramone Moore in its sights.
This article was published in The Advertiser: http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/sport/basketball/adelaide-36ers-sign-coach-joey-wright-to-new-fiveyear-nbl-contract/news-story/6831ecf25e402e9cdc6d4793659fe09d