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South East Melbourne Phoenix and Head Coach Simon Mitchell Part Ways

21 Feb
3 mins read
After four years at the helm Simon Mitchell has decided not to renew his contract with the South East Melbourne Phoenix.

After four years at the helm Simon Mitchell has decided not to renew his contract with the South East Melbourne Phoenix.

The third person hired when the licence for the Phoenix was awarded, Mitchell has led the team to a winning record in three of his four seasons, made finals in their second season, finished second in the NBL Cup competition during NBL21, and made the play-in tournament this season.

The team set numerous records for a new franchise in their first season including the best start ever by a new franchise going 5-2 from the first seven games, well ahead of previous expansion teams, several of which had started 4-3 including the West Sydney Razorbacks in 1998 and the Sydney Kings in 1987, and is a record that still stands today.

Coach 12(Simon Mitchell with import John Roberson during the NBL20 season.)

Mitchell also led the team through two difficult Covid interrupted seasons. In the last two seasons injuries to key personal have also impacted the team’s performance, this year with their starting five the Phoenix were 12-3.

“As a club we have made finals two of our first four years in existence and are established in the hearts and minds of the people of the Heartland, Simon has played a massive role in our success,” Phoenix CEO Tommy Greer said. “He was here when we didn’t even have an office, all we were was a piece of paper, and he has been a pivotal part of our growth.

“His work ethic is second to none and what he’s given to this club is amazing, he’s given everything to the Phoenix, and he will be missed. Any success we have going forward he laid the foundation for, and his contribution will be remembered and honoured at the Phoenix. Mitchell felt he was no longer the right person to take the group forward and that perhaps a new voice would have more success." said Greer.

Gettyimages 1448249330(Simon Mitchell coaching the side during a time out.)

“After going through our season reviews I’ve come to the conclusion that for the progress of the club and myself I think we’re better off moving in different directions going forward,” Mitchell said. 

Mitchell joined the club from Melbourne United where he was an assistant coach for four years. 

He was also an assistant coach at the Melbourne Tigers, where he was part of their 2008 NBL Championship, and Head of Basketball Operations at the Frankston Blues and Knox Basketball.

The Phoenix have already started the process of searching for a replacement.

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