|Arena||WIN Entertainment Centre|
|Location||Wollongong, New South Wales|
|Team colors||Red, black, white|
|General manager||Mat Campbell|
|Head coach||Matt Flinn|
|Team captain||David Andersen|
|Retired numbers||5 (4, 5, 12, 32, 33)|
The Illawarra Hawks are an Australian professional basketball team based in Wollongong, New South Wales. The Hawks compete in the National Basketball League (NBL) and play their home games at WIN Entertainment Centre, known colloquially as "The Sandpit". The Hawks are the only remaining NBL team to have competed in every season since the league's inception in 1979. The team won their first and so far only NBL Championship in 2001 and finished as runners-up in 2005, 2010 and 2017.
The Illawarra Hawks began as a team in the New South Wales Men's Division 1 championship before joining the National Basketball League (NBL) for its inaugural season in 1979. The Hawks played out of Beaton Park Stadium, commonly known as "The Snakepit". In 1981, import Mike Jones was named NBL Most Valuable Player. In 1987, the Hawks had their best season to date, finishing in third place with a 20–6 record. In 1998, the team was renamed the Wollongong Hawks and moved into WIN Entertainment Centre.
The 2000/01 season marked history for the Hawks as they won their maiden NBL Championship. Prior to the start of the season, coach Brendan Joyce changed almost half his roster, adding Charles Thomas, Damon Lowery, Grant Kruger, Matt Shanahan and Axel Dench. After finishing the regular season in fourth with a club-best 21 wins from 28 games, Wollongong upset Perth in the first round of the post-season before conquering Adelaide when Lowery sunk three free throws with no time on the clock in game three of the semi-final series. The Hawks went on to beat Townsville 2–1 in the grand final to capture the team's only title.
The Hawks returned to the NBL Grand Final in 2004/05, where they lost to the Sydney Kings.
In February 2009, captain Mat Campbell started the "Save the Hawks" campaign after the ownership group declared the team would not be able to join revamped league in 2009/10 on financial grounds. Campbell and his small team reached their goal, thanks to the commitment of the Illawarra community, naming rights sponsor ahm Health Insurance, and a bank guarantee provided by Indian mining magnate Mr. Arun Jagatramka from Gujarat NRE. A not-for-profit community-based company formed as Wollongong Hawks Basketball Limited was established to operate the Hawks into the future.
In 2009/10, they made their third appearance in the grand final series, this time coming up short to the Perth Wildcats. In 2010/11, import Gary Ervin was named MVP of the league, becoming the first Hawk to win the award since Mike Jones in 1981. In 2013/14, import Rotnei Clarke was named MVP of the league, becoming the third Hawk to win the award.
In July 2014, a new era was ushered in by the Hawks after Telecommunications entrepreneur James Spenceley was successful in his bid to become the organisation's new owner. However, following a dismal 2014/15 season, the organisation was dealt a substantial off-court blow with Wollongong Coal withdrawing their major sponsorship 1½ years into a five-year contract. The Hawks subsequently decided to place themselves into Voluntary Administration on 2 March 2015. On 25 March 2015, the Hawks secured Multi Civil and Rail as their major sponsor, as the company committed to a one-year deal.
On 22 June 2015, the organisation announced that the team would revert to its original name, the Illawarra Hawks, to better reflect not only the city of Wollongong, but also the surrounding area including the city of Shellharbour, the town of Kiama and the Wingecarribee Shire.
Following long-time coach Gordie McLeod's departure, Rob Beveridge was signed as head coach for the 2015/16 season. He nabbed the trio of New Zealand sharp shooter Kirk Penney, big man AJ Ogilvy, and US point guard Kevin Lisch. The trio were dubbed "the three-headed monster", but they were unsuccessful in leading the Hawks to a championship, falling short in the semi-finals. Lisch was named MVP of the league, becoming the fourth Hawk to win the award.
With Lisch and Penney departing after one season, the Hawks reacquired the serves of Rotnei Clarke for the 2016/17 season. He helped them reach the NBL Grand Final for the first time since 2010, where they were defeated 3–0 by the Perth Wildcats.
On June 17, 2019, high school phenom LaMelo Ball announced on ESPN's The Jump that he will sign with the Illawarra Hawks. Ball became the second high school phenom to enter the NBL's Next Stars program for the 2019–20 NBL season, with R. J. Hampton of the New Zealand Breakers being the first. The pair played against each other on October 24, 2019, with the game between the Hawks and the New Zealand Breakers becoming the most watched game in NBL history with nearly two million views globally on Facebook.
Name, logo and uniforms
The team's colours are red and white. The logo consists of a red hawk with smaller text "Illawarra" centered above the larger text of "Hawks". The Hawk is holding a basketball in its talons. Predominately red uniforms are used for home games, and predominately white uniforms for away games.
The Illawarra Hawks play their home games at WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong. WIN Entertainment Centre opened in September 1998 with a concert by Bob Dylan and Patti Smith. It holds a capacity of 6,000 seats when in full basketball format. The Illawarra Hawks are the only full-time tenants at the arena. The Hawks have been playing at the arena since the 1998–99 NBL season.
Prior to this season, the Hawks played out of the 2,000 seat Beaton Park Stadium (also known as the Illawarra Basketball Stadium) for twenty seasons starting from the club's inception in 1979. One story that evolved around the NBL during the 1980s was that the Illawarra Steelers rugby league team would sit behind the opposition bench during Hawks home games at Beaton Park in a bid to intimidate the opposing team. The Hawks continue to use the stadium as a training facility and also play some pre-season games there.
|Illawarra Hawks retired numbers|
|5||Gordie McLeod||G||1979–1982, 1984–1988|
|12||Glen Saville||G/F||1995–2007, 2008–2013|
|33||Melvin Thomas||F||1992–1995, 1999–2003|
Source: Retired Numbers
Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.
|Illawarra Hawks roster|
Updated: 12 March 2020
Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.
To appear in this section a player must have either:
- David Andersen
- Adam Ballinger
- Todd Blanchfield
- Josh Boone
- Ray Borner
- Aaron Brooks
- C. J. Bruton
- Mat Campbell
- Adam Caporn
- Rotnei Clarke
- Tim Coenraad
- Demitrius Conger
- Mark Dalton
- Larry Davidson
- Adris De León
- Tyson Demos
- Axel Dench
- Cody Ellis
- Gary Ervin
- Oscar Forman
- Casey Frank
- Cortez Groves
- Darington Hobson
- Greg Hubbard
- Cedric Jackson
- Daniel Jackson
- Michael Jones
- Nick Kay
- Jeremy Kench
- Kevin Lisch
- Rhys Martin
- Tywain McKee
- Gordon McLeod
- / Darnell Mee
- Todd Mundt
- Luke Nevill
- Mitch Norton
- Andrew Ogilvy
- Doug Overton
- Kirk Penney
- Anthony Petrie
- Glen Saville
- Matt Shanahan
- Jim Slacke
- Lindsay Tait
- Charles Thomas
- Kevin Tiggs
- Cameron Tragardh
- Jarrad Weeks
- Kevin White
- Justin Withers
There have been ten different head coaches for the Hawks during their history. Charlie Ammit was the first coach of the Hawks to take the team to a finals series when his side finished fourth in the regular season with a 13-11 record. Brendan Joyce was the first coach to both win the Championship (in 2000–01) and claim runners-up (in 2004–05). He was also the first coach to claim runners-up in the regular season (in 2003–04). Both Joyce (2004–05) and Gordie McLeod (2009–10) have the unfortunate honour of claiming the runners-up prize in both the regular season and finals series in the same year. Eric Cooks became the first captain of the club (1999–00) to also become a coach (2006–2009). McLeod is the only other captain (1980–1982 and 1984–1988) to have accomplished this when took over from Cooks in 2009.
Season by season
|Season||Division||League||Regular Season||Post-Season||Head Coach||Captain||Club MVP|
|1979||1||NBL||8th||18||5||13||.278||Did Not Qualify||Joe Farrugia||Bob Kubbinga||Not awarded|
|1980||1||NBL||6th||22||13||9||.591||Did Not Qualify||Dr. Adrian Hurley||Gordie McLeod||Not awarded|
|1981||1||NBL||8th||22||9||13||.409||Did Not Qualify||Joe Farrugia||Gordie McLeod||Not awarded|
|1982||1||NBL||9th||26||11||15||.423||Did Not Qualify||Tom Pottenger||Gordie McLeod||Not awarded|
|1983||1||NBL||14th||22||4||18||.182||Did Not Qualify||Charlie Ammit||Mike Jones||Not awarded|
|1984||1||NBL||4th||24||13||11||.542||Lost in Elimination-Finals to Newcastle Falcons, 108–101||Charlie Ammit||Gordie McLeod||Not awarded|
|1985||1||NBL||5th||26||10||16||.385||Did Not Qualify||Ted Weston||Gordie McLeod||Not awarded|
|1986||1||NBL||5th||26||15||11||.577||Lost in Semi-Finals to Adelaide 36ers, 116–92||Dave Lindstrom||Gordie McLeod||Not awarded|
|1987||1||NBL||3rd||26||20||6||.769||Lost in Semi-Finals to Brisbane Bullets, 2–1 (series)||Dave Lindstrom||Gordie McLeod||Not awarded|
|1988||1||NBL||7th||24||11||13||.458||Did Not Qualify||Dave Lindstrom||Gordie McLeod||Not awarded|
|1989||1||NBL||11th||24||7||17||.292||Did Not Qualify||Dave Lindstrom||Chuck Harmison||Norman Taylor|
|1990||1||NBL||8th||26||13||13||.500||Did Not Qualify||Dave Lindstrom||Chuck Harmison||Norman Taylor|
|1991||1||NBL||13th||26||6||20||.231||Did Not Qualify||Dave Lindstrom||Chuck Harmison||Norman Taylor|
|1992||1||NBL||5th||24||13||11||.542||Lost in Quarter-Finals to North Melbourne Giants, 2–0 (series)||Dave Lindstrom||Chuck Harmison||Doug Overton|
|1993||1||NBL||6th||26||15||11||.577||Lost in Quarter-Finals to Melbourne Tigers, 2–0 (series)||Alan Black||Chuck Harmison||Melvin Thomas|
|1994||1||NBL||8th||26||13||13||.500||Lost in Quarter-Finals to Melbourne Tigers, 2–0 (series)||Alan Black||Chuck Harmison||Melvin Thomas|
|1995||1||NBL||7th||26||14||12||.538||Lost in Quarter-Finals to South East Melbourne Magic, 2–1 (series)||Alan Black||Chuck Harmison||Melvin Thomas|
|1996||1||NBL||10th||26||9||17||.346||Did Not Qualify||Brendan Joyce||Chuck Harmison||Terry Johnson|
|1997||1||NBL||11th||30||7||23||.233||Did Not Qualify||Brendan Joyce||Matt Zauner||Clayton Ritter|
|1998||1||NBL||6th||30||14||16||.467||Lost in Quarter-Finals to Perth Wildcats, 2–0 (series)||Brendan Joyce||Clayton Ritter||Clayton Ritter|
|1998–99||1||NBL||4th||26||16||10||.615||Lost in Semi-Finals to Adelaide 36ers, 2–0 (series)||Brendan Joyce||Clayton Ritter||C. J. Bruton|
|1999–00||1||NBL||8th||28||11||17||.393||Did Not Qualify||Brendan Joyce||Eric Cooks||Glen Saville|
|2000–01||1||NBL||4th||28||21||7||.750||Champions in Final against Townsville Crocodiles, 2–1 (series)||Brendan Joyce||Mat Campbell
|2001–02||1||NBL||4th||30||16||14||.533||Lost in Quarter-Finals to Adelaide 36ers, 2–0 (series)||Brendan Joyce||Mat Campbell
|2002–03||1||NBL||4th||30||18||12||.600||Lost in Semi-Finals to Perth Wildcats, 2–0 (series)||Brendan Joyce||Mat Campbell
|2003–04||1||NBL||2nd||33||25||8||.758||Lost in Semi-Finals to West Sydney Razorbacks, 2–0 (series)||Brendan Joyce||Mat Campbell||Glen Saville|
|2004–05||1||NBL||2nd||32||20||12||.625||Runners-Up in Final against Sydney Kings, 3–0 (series)||Brendan Joyce||Mat Campbell||Glen Saville|
|2005–06||1||NBL||3rd||32||19||13||.594||Lost in Elimination-Finals to Perth Wildcats, 121–101||Brendan Joyce||Rotating Captaincy||Cortez Groves|
|2006–07||1||NBL||10th||33||11||22||.333||Did Not Qualify||Brendan Joyce
|Glen Saville||Adam Ballinger|
|2007–08||1||NBL||11th||30||9||21||.300||Did Not Qualify||Eric Cooks||Mat Campbell||Kavossy Franklin|
|2008–09||1||NBL||7th||30||11||19||.367||Did Not Qualify||Eric Cooks||Mat Campbell||Glen Saville|
|2009–10||1||NBL||2nd||28||16||12||.571||Runners-Up in Final against Perth Wildcats, 2–1 (series)||Gordie McLeod||Mat Campbell||Larry Davidson|
|2010–11||1||NBL||5th||28||15||13||.536||Did Not Qualify||Gordie McLeod||Mat Campbell||Gary Ervin|
|2011–12||1||NBL||8th||28||9||19||.321||Did Not Qualify||Gordie McLeod||Mat Campbell||Oscar Forman|
|2012–13||1||NBL||3rd||28||13||15||.464||Lost in Semi-Finals to Perth Wildcats, 2–0 (series)||Gordie McLeod||Oscar Forman||Adris Deleon|
|2013–14||1||NBL||4th||28||13||15||.464||Lost in Semi-Finals to Perth Wildcats, 2–0 (series)||Gordie McLeod||Oscar Forman||Rotnei Clarke|
|2014–15||1||NBL||8th||28||6||22||.214||Did Not Qualify||Gordie McLeod||Oscar Forman||Tim Coenraad|
|2015–16||1||NBL||3rd||28||17||11||.607||Lost in Semi-Finals to Perth Wildcats, 2–0 (series)||Rob Beveridge||Oscar Forman||Kevin Lisch|
|2016–17||1||NBL||4th||28||15||13||.536||Runners-Up in Final against Perth Wildcats, 3–0 (series)||Rob Beveridge||Oscar Forman||Rotnei Clarke|
|2017–18||1||NBL||5th||28||12||16||.429||Did Not Qualify||Rob Beveridge||Kevin White||Demitrius Conger|
|2018–19||1||NBL||7th||28||12||16||.429||Did Not Qualify||Rob Beveridge||Kevin White||Brian Conklin|
|2019–20||1||NBL||9th||28||5||23||.179||Did Not Qualify||Matt Flinn||David Andersen
Trophies and awards
- Championships (1): 2001
- Grand Final Appearances (4): 2001, 2005, 2010, 2017
- Finals Appearances (20): 1984, 1986, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1998–99, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2009–10, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2015–16, 2016–17
- Glen Saville – 2001
Source: NBL AWARD WINNERS
Records and statistics
|Most games||527||Glen Saville|
|Most points||6865||Glen Saville|
|Most rebounds||4041||Glen Saville|
|Most assists||1847||Glen Saville|
|Most steals||776||Glen Saville|
|Most blocks||423||Glen Saville|
|Most field goals||2511||Glen Saville|
|Most 3-pointers||1049||Mat Campbell|
|Most free throws||1163||Glen Saville|
|Most points in a game||54||Norman Taylor, 18 May 1990|
|Most 3-pointers made in a game||10||Charles Thomas, 29 December 2001|
|Most assists in a game||18||Gordie McLeod, twice|
|Most blocks in a game||7||3 players|
|Most steals in a game||9||Elliot Hatcher, 13 March 1998|
|Most rebounds in a game||23||Ray Borner, 9 May 1987|
- "Season by Season". HawksHistory.com.au. Archived from the original on 6 August 2010.
Playing Venue: Wollongong / WIN Entertainment Centre - The Sandpit
- "FLASHBACK 4: August, 1977, ABM". botinagy.com. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
- Barrow, Tim (24 February 2016). "Lowery believes in Hawks' title destiny". illawarramercury.com.au. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
- "2000/01 - Wollongong Hawks : NBL Champions". hawkshistory.com.au. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
- "Hawks under new Ownership". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
- "Hawks Announcement". Archived from the original on 12 April 2015. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
- Wollongong Hawks Announcement
- Wollongong Hawks land new sponsor
- Hawks revert to original Illawarra moniker
- "We're the Illawarra Hawks and we're flying to the top #FlyYouHawks". Archived from the original on 22 June 2015. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
- Illawarra Hawks on how they got their wings back
- "Illawarra Hawks Sign Lamelo Ball". Illawarra Hawks. 17 June 2019. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
- "New Zealand v Illawarra Most Watched Game In NBL History". NBL.com.au. 25 October 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
- Glen Saville announces his retirement from the National Basketball League