As sponsors of the Hawke’s Bay Hawks basketball franchise, the team at VJ Distributors are excited to hear the news that Kirstin Daly-Taylor has been appointed to the role of head coach. The former Tall Fern is a significant hire for the coaching position, and will spearhead the National Basketball League (NBL) campaign from next year.

After spurning advances from previous franchises to be the head coach, why has Daly-Taylor changed her mind now?
“My philosophy is that it’s about creating a programme players want to come to, especially Hawke’s Bay kids, and to create an environment where players feel valued and take ownership. It’ll be like a family,” she said.

“For me, the coaching is about having loyalty and passion for the Hawks. It’s very much because I still live here. I’m not doing this job in the hope of getting the next job in the United States or Philippines or somewhere else. I’m doing it because I want to be here, my life is here, my home is here and it makes perfect sense.”

Daly-Taylor becomes one of the rare women to take control of a men’s team at domestic level. In other domestic men’s codes, it’s rare to impossible to find a woman in the coaching role.

By giving Daly-Taylor a five-year deal as an NBL head coach, the Hawks not only get the right person with the right skills for the job, they’ve also made a statement which will bring hope to all aspiring female coaches—if you’re good enough, you’ve got the job.

“How I roll is I play to win. I want to set up a programme and the goal is to make the top four every season and then focus on the semifinals and finals,” she said. “I’m always fair. You play because you’re the best. I’m honest. I’m big on experience, knowledge and passion.”

Daly-Taylor is looking to finalise a squad of 14 by February 2016. The squad reportedly won’t include promising Hastings guard Mataeus Marsh, who is said to be moving up to play for the Supercity Rangers.
There’s plenty for the Hawks faithful to be excited about ahead of next season. Congratulations, Kirstin, we’re looking forward to seeing you courtside with the team. All the best from everyone at VJs. Bring home the championship!