Coaching role cut short by appointment

The club made the announcement earlier this month saying Henry was a ‘well-credentialed and awarded coach with a strong community focus’.

Henry’s appointment cuts short Francis’ first gig as a head coach after he took control of the Eagles in February.

Francis was previously an assistant with the Cockburn Cougars and Perry Lakes Hawks. He told the Eastern Reporter he was disappointed the club had decided to take a different approach to his.

‘I was given three years to turn the program around in which we made some solid improvement,’ Francis said.

‘We had to recruit to bolster the player list and we brought in Steph Jones to assist in raising the profile of the club in the community.

‘Ultimately, though it came down to the club choosing Steph over my approach to development.’

Francis said he did not take any remuneration choosing to leave his money with the club to help develop their players and help in the recruitment process. He said he had no ill feeling towards the club and only wished Henry well in her tenure as coach.

Francis said he had been offered other roles at the club, including a seat on their board, but was still considering his options.

Henry was awarded the Women’s State Basketball League Coach of the Year in 2010 as well as the Department of Sport and Recreation’s 2011 Community Coaches Award for Basketball. She played 283 SBL Games with various clubs only retiring from playing in 2012.

She said she was excited to be involved in basketball again and looking forward to the challenge at East Perth.

Club chairman Anthony Fletcher said Henry’s appointment would benefit the whole club as head coach and through her involvement in the girls program in conjunction with club development officer, Steph Jones.

‘I’m looking forward to this exciting development and the resulting benefits for our girls and club as a whole,’ he said.

He added the club was speaking to Francis about any future roles.

The women’s side finished second last on the ladder winning only two games 22.