Noeline Taurua has been named inaugural head coach of the Sunshine Coast netball franchise that will compete in next year’s national netball league, today signing a two-year deal.
Taurua will depart from her post at the helm of ANZ Championship franchise Southern Steel to take up the position as coach of Sunshine Coast’s first national elite-level sporting team, a team whose name is yet to be revealed. The new team is backed by Melbourne Storm and the University of the Sunshine Coast.
Securing Taurua’s services for two years is a significant coup for the Sunshine Coast netball team, with the former Silver Fern in demand at the conclusion of the ANZ Championship season.
Taurua, who played 34 Tests for New Zealand, took over the helm of the Steel in December 2015, claiming the minor premiership in her first season with an unbeaten record in the regular season.
She remains the only coach to lead a New Zealand side to an ANZ Championship title when she was in charge of the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic in 2012. The team made the finals series in each of the six years she was there. Taurua also boasts an enviable 72% winning record in the ANZ Championship.
Melbourne Storm CEO Dave Donaghy said: “We are delighted to announce Noeline Taurua as head coach of the Sunshine Coast netball team.
“It’s a big coup for the club to have someone of Noeline’s standing and success.
“With 16 years high performance experience to lead our inaugural team, she was the right person for the job.
“We look forward to introducing Noeline to the Sunshine Coast community – as well as the wider Australian netball community – in the coming weeks, as we make other major announcements.”
Taurua said: “The opportunity to come on board as the inaugural head coach of the Sunshine Coast netball team for the new Australian National Netball League is perfect timing for me.
“Having been involved in the ANZ Championship for nine years, the time was ripe for change and a new challenge.
“Coaching overseas has always been one of my goals and with the highly-regarded Melbourne Storm picking up the reins of the first ever national elite-level sport’s team to represent the Sunshine Coast, the timing was perfect to be part of a new venture and new era for netball.
“It doesn’t get any more exciting than moving to a new country to coach a brand new team in a ground-breaking competition. For that I am grateful and relishing the opportunity.”
Netball Australia continues to work closely with the clubs and Australian Netball Players’ Association on the players’ Collective Bargaining Agreement to deliver the best possible result for the players, clubs and the league. Further announcements around the new league will be made in due course.