Robert is one of the crowd favourites on the North Coast. He has served the majority of his time in Newcastle, coaching and becoming one of the area’s most trustworthy administrators. His ability to think outside the square and give his input shows just how much influence he has, especially when it comes to developing players in Newcastle. He is a manager for the long run, doing his bit to remain a part of some of the Australian junior teams. Robert will go down as one of, if not the longest serving, Australian national team administrators.
When we talk about Robert being one of the longest serving administrators, it’s hard to say otherwise when he has been a part of the sport of basketball for 45 years! His involvement was through administration and coaching.
One of the great attributes about him is that he is always willing to help others and volunteer his time to put the sport in a good position. Robert has not only done roles in the state of NSW but also for Basketball Australia in numerous volunteer roles.
Volunteering his time is the norm for him and when there was a Committee that had room to join, Robert put his hand up straight away. He has been a member of the Junior Committee, Coaches Committee and Country Committee within NSW. One of the biggest and more renowned Committees he joined was as the chairman of the Basketball Organising Committee at the 2009 Sydney World Masters Games.
Over time, people put all their faith in Robert to make some big decisions and due to his ability to analyse and point out the factors that need changing. He coordinated the NSW Country Review in 2010, has been on the NSW Board from 2004-2006 and again in 2014-Present.
Robert felt very connected to the State of NSW and with what he learnt in the management side of basketball, and picking up coaching techniques from some of his connections, he became focused on leading his own team. From 1968-1989, Robert coached various teams, successfully winning National Titles in 1979 and 1982. Coach of the Year honours were given to him in 1984. Many schools were based in different areas of NSW and there wasn’t one place that he didn’t attend, from NSW CHS to Warner Bay High School. He coached teams at Combined High Schools State KO, NSW All Schools and the Australian Schools Championships where his team were National Champions in 1999.
For all his effort and dedication to the sport, Robert was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his contributions to Basketball.
For him, it was all about sticking to where it all started and when he got the nod to take on the job as coach of the Newcastle Falcons and the Newcastle club team, Stockton, he wasn’t going to turn it down. Robert led Stockton to a NSW Championship in 1985.
Robert has Life Member status at the Newcastle Basketball Association and will always remain one as one of the biggest assets. He was a former board member and coached junior and senior teams, including teams within SEABL.