Basketball Australia has appointed Craig Friday as the head coach of both Australia’s senior men’s and women’s Wheelchair Basketball teams for 2021.

Friday has been the head coach of the Australian Rollers (senior men’s) since 2017, and under this tutelage rebuilt the program to claim an impressive bronze medal at the IWBF 2018 World Championships in Hamburg, Germany.

Having overseen a successful rebuild of the Rollers program, Friday – who takes over from Stephen Charlton – will also complete a similar undertaking with the Australian Gliders (senior women’s) as both national teams prepare for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in 2021 (24 August – 5 September).

Upon confirming the appointment of Craig Friday as dual national team head coach, Basketball Australia’s Head of Wheelchair Basketball Leigh Gooding said: “With the way in which the Australian Wheelchair Program is structured and how the international calendar currently looks, it supports the ability to have a head coach overseeing both the men’s and women’s national teams.

“Craig has done an outstanding job with the Rollers since being appointed as head coach in 2017 and we believe he is the right person to take our women’s program forward.

“He will be supported in this dual role by a strong and experienced coaching unit for the two teams and we are excited to see what both programs can deliver over the coming years.”

Friday has a strong coaching resume across all levels of basketball coaching and in the wheelchair basketball program, including with the Rollers dating back to 2002.

Starting as the technical coach in 2002 for the men’s program before serving as assistant coach at the 2004 and 2008 Paralympics, Friday was a part of the Rollers’ silver and gold medal wins.

He was also the assistant coach at the 2010 and 2014 World Championships where Australia finished first in both tournaments, achieving back-to-back world champion status.

Commenting on his appointment, Craig Friday said: “I am very honoured and excited about this opportunity and thanks to Basketball Australia for allowing me to do both roles.

“This is a great opportunity and together with the support of the quality individuals I will have supporting me across both programs, we will work extremely hard to achieve success throughout 2021.”

2021 Coaching and Support Staff

Australian Gliders

Head Coach: Craig Friday

Assistant Coach: Janna Mizens

Assistant Coach: Darren Allie

Assistant Coach / Technical Coach: Craig Campbell

Team Manager: Cathy Lambert

Physiotherapist: Chloe Manuel

Performance Psychologist: Karen Haddad

Athlete Wellbeing & Engagement Coordinator: Ruth Owen-Evans

Australian Rollers

Head Coach: Craig Friday

Assistant Coach: Brad Ness

Assistant Coach: Grant Mizens

Assistant Coach / Technical Coach: Shane Furness

Team Manager: Priyanka Karunakaran

Physiotherapist: Ryan Campbell

Performance Psychologist: Karen Haddad

Athlete Wellbeing & Engagement Coordinator: Ruth Owen-Evans


By: Basketball Australia

Posted: 21 January 2021