SKYCITY Breakers Head Coach Dean Vickerman has made his first significant appointment since being named to the role a month ago, with the appointment of legendary player Paul Henare as his Assistant Coach at the 3 time championship winning club.
Vickerman knew even before he was appointed that the man known as ‘Pauli’ was the right person for the job should he land the Head Coach gig.
“I had spoken to Pauli before my appointment to sound him out about a possible involvement. I felt that the role as the defensive coordinator needs someone with some coaching expertise obviously but also some grunt, Pauli can come in and drive that with the energy that is needed to continue to improve our defence.”
Henare is delighted to be ‘coming home’ to the club he served so proudly as a player, ending his time with the first of three consecutive championships in 2011, with his 250th and final game for the club coming in the Grand Final decider of 2011.
“I am very honoured and excited to be coming "home" to the SKYCITY Breakers as Assistant Coach. Since I retired from playing I have watched with pride the tremendous success the club has achieved over the last two years. The SKYCITY Breakers have set the bar in the NBL on and off the court. I look forward to contributing towards the club's continued success over the next three years.
“I am especially grateful to Dean Vickerman for having the faith and trust in me to help him as he takes on his role as Head Coach. I plan on repaying his faith in me by working my butt off and support him and the team to reach new heights.”
Vickerman knows that Henare is the right man for the right job at the right time, all the feedback he has sought has confirmed this.
“The trademarks and values that our team set years ago haven’t changed a lot and there is no one at the club that the players or support staff thought represented those values better than Pauli. The time he has had away since retiring has been great, he is in his third season of head coaching and is part of the national team programme. It is important for the SKYCITY Breakers to have a member of national team coaching staff to monitor players in the off season in the NBL and also with the Tall Blacks.”
Henare is already active in his role, talking on a regular basis with Vickerman while he successfully coaches the Southland Sharks in the Bartercard NBL. He will relocate to Auckland and assume fulltime commitments following the Bartercard NBL and the Tall Blacks commitments in late August but will continue in his coaching role with Southland in the NBL beyond this season.
Henare’s return continues the great succession planning at the club, with Vickerman moving into the Head Coaching role after six years as Assistant and Henare moving into coaching after the retirement of his playing number at the end of a stellar playing career in 2011.
It is worth noting that the only other player to have had his number retired as a player is also staying on with the club, albeit in a front office role. Dillon Boucher is moving from an on court role to one in the commercial side of the club, proving that succession planning exists in all facets of the business, not only in coaching.