Coaching / Development Performance | 19.04.19

Performance Appointments

Senior Appointments at the Sacramento Kings, LA Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, French Rugby Federation and beyond.

Performance Appointments

The Leaders Performance Institute’s weekly review of appointments across global sport.

First up this week is the NBA’s Sacramento Kings who have appointed Luke Walton as Head Coach just days after his dismissal by the LA Lakers.



From coast to coast, the New Orleans Pelicans have announced David Griffin as Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations. The executive, who has more than 20 years’ experience of working in the front offices of the NBA, including seven years spent as a GM, emerged from a rigorous interview process.

Returning to the kings theme, the LA Kings of the NHL have hired Todd McLellan as their Head Coach. The veteran coach has signed a five-year contract worth a reported $5million per annum.

Another mover in the NHL is Alain Vigneault, who arrives as new Head Coach of the Philadelphia Flyers, replacing interim coach Scott Gordon.

Over in Europe and the Austrian Bundesliga, where Jesse Marsch will take the reins as Head Coach of Red Bull Salzburg in the summer. He will step into the vancancy left by Marco Rose, who is to cross the border to become Head Coach at Germany’s Borussia Mönchengladbach.

In rugby union, Fabien Galthié is to take over as Head Coach of the France men’s national team following the conclusion of their 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign. Galthié will succeed Jacques Brunel in the autumn.

Finally, in college basketball, Amaka Agugua-Hamilton has been announced as Head Coach of the Missouri State University women’s basketball program.

Friday 12th April

This week saw Martin Schmidt take control of his first training session as Head Coach of German Bundesliga club Augsburg. Schmidt replaces the outgoing Martin Baum, who paid the price for a series of heavy defeats.

Elsewhere in the Bundesliga, Marco Rose is to be installed as Head Coach of Borussia Mönchengladbach ahead of next season. Rose, who has signed a three-year contract, will take the reins from the departing Dieter Hecking this summer.

Rose’s move may be on hold but Sven Mislintat has been appointed Technical Director of VfB Stuttgart with immediate effect. Mislintat returns to his homeland having left English Premier League Arsenal in early February.

On to Central America and Mexico’s Liga MX, where Club Deportivo Guadalajara have appointed Tomás Boy as Head Coach. Boy succeeds José Cardozo and will hope to earn the first silverware of his career with the club commonly known as Chivas.

Another appointment on European shores saw Graham Norton announced as Strength & Conditioning Coach League of Ireland champions Dundalk.

In the international game, Mixu Paatelainen has been named as Head Coach of the Hong Kong men’s senior team.

For the second week in succession there has been plenty of hiring and firing in Stateside college basketball. First up, the UCLA men’s program ended its long search for a Head Coach in hiring Mick Cronin on a six-year contract worth $26million.

Vanderbilt has plucked a familiar name from the Memphis Grizzlies in appointing their assistant coach Jerry Stackhouse as Head Coach of its men’s program on a six-year contract.

Mark Pope is to be new Head Coach at Brigham Young University subject to the approval of the school’s administration and Board of Trustees. BYU’s hiring protocol is known to be one of the most thorough in the NCAA.

In the women’s game, Nell Fortner has been announced as Head Coach of the Georgia Tech women’s program. The move represents her first coaching job in seven years and rekindles an impressive career where her Team USA posted the most wins in US basketball history.

There is also time for one NBA appointment where the Philadelphia 76ers have hired the franchise’s first female coach in the form of Lindsey Harding, who will serve as Player Development Coach. Harding, who began her NBA basketball operations career as a scout for the Sixers, is just the seventh female coach in NBA history.

On to the NHL where Joel Quenneville has reunited with Dale Tallon, this time at the Florida Panthers. In accepting to become Head Coach, Quenneville has agrred to work once again with the man who brought him to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2008. ‘Coach Q’ has coached the second-most wins in NHL history.



There has been movement in cricket too. Floyd Reifer is now the interim Head Coach of the West Indies men’s senior team. And the Barbadian is not alone, with Iqbal Imam appointed as Head Coach of the Pakistan senior women’s team.

Back in Europe, Ireland international Albert van der Merwe has been named Talent Pathways Manager of Cricket Ireland.

And last but by no means least this week is Richard Agar, who has assumed head coaching duties at rugby Super League side the Leeds Rhinos. Agar is the team’s First Team Coach and Player Development but steps into the breach following the departure of James Lowes, who has joined rugby union’s Ealing Trailfinders.

Friday 5th April

With March Madness reaching the semi-final stage Stateside, the coaching changes across US college basketball are well underway. We start in California, where Mark Fox has been installed as new men’s Head Coach at Berkeley just five days after the dismissal of Wyking Jones.



From the Golden State to the Lone Star State, Texas A&M has announced Buzz Williams as the Head Coach of its men’s program. Williams arrives from Virginia Tech and is expected to bring his assistants Jamie McNeilly and Devin Johnson with him.

The arrival of a new coach has also restored hope at Nebraska, where former Chicago Bulls Head Coach Fred Hoiberg has agreed to take the reins of the men’s basketball program.

There has been movement in rugby too. First up is rugby union and the English Premiership’s Leicester Tigers, where Mike Ford has been appointed Senior Coach to work alongside Head Coach Geordan Murphy. He arrives with the Tigers in relegation trouble and the games fast running out.

Naas Botha has also agreed to become Head Coach of the India men’s national team. Botha is helping India to prepare for the third division Asia Rugby Championship in Indonesia in June where they will meet China.

Next is rugby league and English League. Newcastle have unveiled Simon Finnegan as Head Coach. He arrives from the Toronto Wolfpack, where he served as an assistant coach.

International football is our next port of call. Football Federation Australia has ended its nine-month search for a Technical Director by appointing Sherman Rob to the role. He has previously held similar positions in both Wales and New Zealand.

Ahead of the Fifa Women’s World Cup in France this summer, the Nigeria women’s team has added Per Harlsson as a conditioning coach and Matti Demegard.

Over in Major League Soccer, FC Cincinnati announced the recruitment of Gary Walker as Director of Sports Performance. He arrives from Manchester United, who also waved goodbye to Senior Sports Scientist Robin Thorpe, who leaves after ten years to become Director of Performance and Innovation at ALTIS in the US.

Friday 29th March

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has signed a three-year contract to become the full-time Head Coach of English Premier League Manchester United. The Norwegian had been serving on an interim basis and his appointment was widely expected over this recent Fifa international break following as it did 14 wins from his 19 games in interim charge.



Another former Premier League forward finding gainful employment this week is Savo Milošević, who has agreed to serve as Head Coach of Serbian SuperLiga side FK Partizan of Belgrade.

Switching to the international game, David Notoane has been unveiled as Head Coach of the South Africa men’s Under-23s national team. He will lead the team into its qualifying campaign for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Moving on to college basketball where Billy Lange has been hired as Head Coach of the St Joseph’s University men’s program. The now former Philadelphia 76ers assistant is the program’s 15th coach in its 110-year history.

Elsewhere in NCAA basketball, Washington State has unveiled Kyle Smith as Head Coach of its men’s program. He has signed a six-year contract worth $1.4 million per annum.

Nate Oats has also made the move, from Buffalo to the University of Alabama’s men’s basketball program. He replaces Avery Johnson to become the 21st Head Coach in the program’s 106-year history.

In the world of cricket, the Australia men’s national team have named two men to replace departed Bowling Coach David Saker. First is Adam Griffith, who will take the reins for the team’s ICC Cricket World Cup campaign, which begins in England in late May, and then Troy Cooley takes the reins for the Baggy Greens as they look to defend the Ashes on English soil later in the summer.

On to hockey, starting with the field variety: Graham Reid has been appointed Head Coach of the India men’s national team until the end of the 2022/3 FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup.

Over on the ice, Jakob Kolliker has been installed as Head Coach of the China women’s national team. After the nation’s failure to qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and the 2018 edition in Pyeongchang there is considerable hope that the team will prove competitive at its home games in Beijing in 2022.