The JCU Townsville Fire have appointed Claudia Brassard as the club’s head coach.
Earlier today, the Fire unveiled Brassard, who has served as an assistant coach for the past three seasons including successive championship wins, as the successor to Chris Lucas who stood down earlier this month.
Brassard becomes just the fourth coach in club history and the first former player and captain to assume the top job.
Over the past three years, Brassard has coached the Fire on three occasions in Lucas’ absence – winning all three games – including a 40-point hammering over Dandenong in the penultimate game of the home-and-away season at Townsville RSL Stadium in February.
The Canadian Olympian has signed an initial two-year deal and will commence immediately.
“It’s a tremendous honour,” Brassard said.
“From the moment I arrived at the Fire, I have loved this club, I have loved this city and I have always harboured ambitions to coach this team in my own right one day.
“I feel like I have learnt a lot under Chris and I am up for the challenge of trying to maintain our continued success.”
Having debuted in the WNBL with Bulleen in 2000/01, Brassard spent five seasons playing for the Fire including captaining the club from 2004/05 to 2006/07 and was named MVP in her first season as skipper.
Since the re-birth of the Fire in 2011/12, Brassard has served as a Board member but will stand down immediately in order to assume the head coach’s role.
“The JCU Townsville Fire is delighted to appoint Claudia as our new head coach,” Fire Chair Michelle Morton said.
“Claudia has played a key role in our championship wins and is ready to lead the club into a new era.
“We look forward to the club’s continued success under her leadership and we will be doing everything that we can to secure a three-peat.”
Mark Wrobel will continue as Brassard’s first assistant, while the Fire has announced the return of championship heroes Mia Murray, Micaela Cocks and Darcee Garbin alongside captain Suzy Batkovic.