The Toronto Raptors are reportedly set to make a valuable addition to their coaching staff.
Marc Stein reports that decorated Australian coach Trevor Gleeson is set to join Nick Nurse's coaching group in Toronto.
Gleeson was released from his contract with the Perth Wildcats earlier this week, ending a remarkable run with the NBL powerhouse.
Trevor Gleeson is expected to soon join Nick Nurse's coaching staff in Toronto after announcing his departure from the Perth Wildcats of the @NBL, league sources say. Gleeson led Perth to five Australian club championships.- Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) July 12, 2021
The end of a golden era
A coach in the Australian League for over two decades, Gleeson's first opportunity came with the Brisbane Bullets as a development coach in 1997.
After bouncing around the world with stops in the US and Korea, Gleeson returned to Australia to become the head coach of the Townsville Crocodiles in 2006. Gleeson was named the Coach of the Year in 2011 before moving on to coach the Melbourne Tigers for a short stint.
The major success began with an appointment as head coach of the Perth Wildcats in 2013, a role that he would man until this week.
Catch Perth Wildcats CEO Troy Georgiu and Trevor Gleeson in yesterday's press conference.- Perth Wildcats (@PerthWildcats) July 13, 2021
🎥: https://t.co/yRdLRF2JBM pic.twitter.com/jS0XVR4BbY
Perth won the title in his first year at the helm, beginning a glittering run that included five championships in eight years.
Despite the team's dominance, Gleeson would not pick up his second Coach of the Year award until the end of the 2021 season, a campaign where the injury-riddled Wildcats lost in the Grand Final series to Melbourne United.
Boasting a winning percentage of 63.8 percent in his time with Perth, Gleeson cemented himself as one of the most successful coaches in the country.
Loyal to the Wildcats despite regular overseason offers, Gleeson told reporters an offer to join the NBA coaching ranks was one he simply couldn't refuse.
"This is the NBA. This is the pinnacle, the best competition in the world, the best players in the world," said Gleeson. "I can't put my head on the pillow and say I'm going to turn that offer down."
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