Founded 1979 as Illawara Hawks Stadium The Sandpit, WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong Old Stadiums The Snake Pit Capacity 5,673 Owner James Spenceley CEO Stuart Wilkinson Head Coach Gordie McLeod Championships 2001
2014-15 Wollongong Roster 2013-14 Wollongong Roster 2012-13 Wollongong Roster 2011-12 Wollongong Roster 2010-11 Wollongong Roster
Adris Deleon 2013 Ben Knight 2004 Butch Hays 1993, 1994 Cortez Groves 2006, 2007 Darnell Mee 2004, 2005 Doug Overton 1992 Glen Saville 1997, 2004, 2005, 2006 Greg Hubbard 1990 Justin Withers 1991 Kavossy Franklin 2008 Lance Hurdle 2013 Melvin Thomas 1992, 1994, 1995 Matt Zauner 1997 Norman Taylor 1989, 1990 Oscar Forman 2013 Terry Johnson 1996
#4 Chuck Harmison #5 Gordie McLeod #12 Glen Saville #32 Mat Campbell #33 Melvin Thomas
Most points in a game 54 Norman Taylor, 18/05/90 3 Pointers made in a game 10 Charles Thomas, 29/12/01 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, 13/03/98 Most Rebounds in a game 23 Ray Borner, 09/05/87
Games 524 Mat Campbell Points 6705 Glen Saville 3 Pointers 1049 Mat Campbell Assists 1807 Glen Saville Blocks 416 Glen Saville Steals 766 Glen Saville Rebounds 3945 Glen Saville
Season by Season Season Results Finals 1979 8th (5-3) - 1980 6th (13-9) - 1981 8th (9-13) - 1982 9th (11-15) - 1983 7th (4-18) - 1984 4th (13-11) Elimination Finalist 1985 5th (10-16) - 1986 5th (15-11) Semi Finalist 1987 3rd (20-6) Semi Finalist 1988 7th (11-13) - 1989 11th (7-11) - 1990 8th (13-13) - 1991 13th (6-20) - 1992 5th (13-11) Quarter Finalists 1993 6th (15-11) Quarter Finalists 1994 8th (13-13) Quarter Finalists 1995 7th (14-12) Quarter Finalists 1996 10th (9-17) - 1997 11th (7-23) - 1998 6th (14-16) Elimination Finalists 1998/99 3rd (16-10) Semi Finalists 1999/00 8th (11-17) - 2000/01 4th (21-7) CHAMPIONS 2001/02 4th (16-14) First Round 2002/03 4th (18-12) Semi Finalists 2003/04 2nd (28-8) Semi Finalists 2004/05 2nd (20-12) Grand Finalists 2005/06 3rd (19-13) Quarter Finalists Rotating Captaincy 2006/07 10th (11-12) - 2007/08 11th (9-21) - 2008/09 7th (9-19) - 2009/10 2nd (16-12) Grand Finalists 2010/11 5th (15-13) - 2011/12 8th (9-19) - 2012/13 3rd (13-15) Semi Finalists
The Hawks are the only remaining NBL club to have competed in every season since the leagues inception in 1979 without relocating to another city. The club was originally known as the Illawarra Hawks, the name referring to the Illawarra region rather than specifically its major urban centre Wollongong. The name change took place after the 1998 season; the team also adopted a new logo and moved to the WEC.
Previous to 1998 the Hawks played out of The Snake pit in Gwynneville (A suburb of Wollongong close to the city centre). The Snakepit had a reputation among players and coaches as one of the most feared venues in the league. Despite being only small (Capacity 1,800), the fans were packed in close to the action making for an awesome atmosphere. Local supporters were known to lean over from the bar at the southern end of the court and shake the ring and even sometimes throw beer on opposition players as they entered the change room. The Snakepit is still in use by the Hawks as a training venue and for preseason matches. During the 2007/2008 season, the Hawks experienced significant financial difficulty and as a result the team nearly was forced to withdraw prior to the completion of the season. A community ownership plan was developed, the Friends of the Hawks, along the lines of the Green Bay Packers of the American NFL. In February 2009, Hawks Captain Mat Campbell started the "Save the Hawks" Campaign to make sure the last remaining foundation club would still exist in the National Basketball League. Mat and his small team reached their goal, thanks to the commitment of the Illawarra community, naming rights sponsor ahm Australian Health Management and a bank guarantee provided by Indian mining magnate Mr. Arun Jagatramka from Gujarat NRE
With the Hawks now part of an eight team National Basketball League competition, Hawks sign Illawarra legend Gordie McLeod as head coach and publically announce they will be competing with only 75% use of the salary cap. Critics and basketball commentators write off the Hawks as finals contenders and many predict the Hawks to finish with the wooden spoon.
Hawks win the Pre-season Top End Challenge and maintain their position in the top four all season. After losing star import Tywain McKee with a back injury midway through the season, Hawks bring in veteran point guard Luke Martin to help fill the void. Hawks finish off the season with a 7-4 record without their star import and finish in second place behind the Perth Wildcats after 28 games.
Hawks secured home court advantage for the semi-finals series and defeat the Townsville Crocs 2-1. Hawks face Perth Wildcats in NBL: Grand Finals. Both teams split game one and two at home and the deciding game three was taken back to Perth. With all the odds against them the Hawks muster up a 17 point lead in the second quarter, but fail to capitalise. Perth win game three at home and are crowned the 2010 NBL Champions. Head Coach Gordie McLeod was named NBL Coach of the Year?.
Injured import Tywain McKee was named in all-NBL first team even with only playing 17 games in the season. Tywain leaves to the United States with his reputation tarnished after club learns about a string of driving offences.
During the off 2009-10 off season Cameron Tragardh signed with the Melbourne Tigers. Tywains contract was not renewed, so the Hawks looked for another import. And they found future MVP Gary Ervin. The Hawks started out hot, often leading the league in wins. But mid season the team fell off the top of the ladder thanks too a number of key injuries. The Hawks lost 9 straight games & feel out of the top 4. Their roster was so depleted that former Illawarra Hawk & current assistant coach Matty Flinn had to suit up for the team on a road trip to Perth. After the Hawks got back Gary Ervin & Glen Saville, the Hawks got back on track. Saville, picking up his 500th game during the season, stepped up during this time. But the Hawks just missed out on the playoffs by 1 game. During the off season Gary Ervin was named league MVP.
Former league MVP Gary Ervin did not re-sign with the Hawks for the 2011-12 season, instead choosing to sign overseas. This left a large hole in the roster, the team tried to fill it with imports Donovan Monroe, who was released 2 weeks before the start of the season. The Hawks also tried out another import point guard named Horace Wormley but he was never officially signed and never played a game. The team ended up signing Showron Glover to fill in the PG duties. The other import slot was used on Joevan Catron who played forward.
The season got off to a slow start and the Hawks never recovered from it. Most of the season the Hawks were sitting on the bottom of the ladder. Import Showron Glover was a bust & Joevan Catron never saw consistent minutes despite leading the team in scoring most of the year. The team released Glover mid season and signed Ayinde Ubaka after he was fired by the Melbourne Tigers. Ubaka made an immediate impact and the team got off the bottom of the ladder, finishing 8th.
Mat Campbell played his 500th game during the season, he also announced his retirement at seasons end, an almost sold out Sand Pit saw him off for the last time. Saville & Campbell also notched up their 500th game together, the first time this has ever happened in the NBL.
For the 2012-13 season the Hawks re-signed every Australian player from the season before (apart from Campbell). They replaced 2011-12 import Joevan Catron with guard Lance Hurdle and picked up former Blaze import, and streetball legend Adris Deleon to complete the roster.
The Hawks started the season with a record of 7-1 thanks to the stellar play of Adris Deleon off the bench. Many people thought they were the team to knock off the NZ Breakers. But a series of injuries decimated the roster and the team limped through the rest of the season. Lance Hurdle and Rhys Martin went down with season ending ACL injuries in the same game. The next game Glen Saville would suffer a knee injury which forced him to retire early. As a result the Hawks signed Hurdle's college friend Malcolm Grant as an injury replacement for Hurdle. Other injuries to Larry Davidson, Tyson Demos and Tim Coenraad meant that the Hawks never played a single game at full strength.
Adris Deleon carried the Hawks through the end of the season as the Hawks secured 3rd position. Deleon was named the league's best 6th man. Despite this and finishing top 5 in scoring, he was not named to any All NBL Teams. The Hawks would face the Wildcats in the semi-finals again, but would lose the series 0-2.
At the end of 2012-13 General Manager Mili Simic left the club, he was replaced by Stuart Wilkinson. On May 5th 2013 the Hawks announced the re-signing of Oscar Forman. The Hawks also re-signed David Gruber and Larry Davidson. Rotnei Clarke was signed as the Hawks first import for the new season and Shane Harris-Tunks replaced Auryn Macmillan who signed with the Melbourne Tigers. 2013-14 saw the Hawks come in and out of the top 4 all season long until the team secured a playoff berth late in the season, finishing 4th. Rotnei Clarke was named league MVP, Kevin Tiggs won 6th man of the year and Gordie Mcleod took out coach of the year as the Hawks surprised most fans by reaching the final 4. However Wollongong was knocked out 2-0 by the Perth Wildcats. At the end of the season Clarke left Australia to play overseas and Tiggs was not re-signed.