Manchester Giants look to future as Byrne replaces Williams as head coach

Danny Byrne will replace Manchester Giants legend Yorrick Williams as the basketball team’s new Head Coach.

Byrne coached the Giants II in 2016/17, leading them to the NBL Division 4 title and receiving the Coach of the Year award.

Having assisted with the BBL team for the second half of the season he now steps up to take up the role of Head Coach – his first head coaching job in the BBL.

The 41-year-old came through the Plymouth Raiders junior ranks and played for Thames Valley Tigers and Rossendale Raptors, before taking up his first coaching role with Lancashire Spinners.

Byrne joined the Giants coaching staff in 2016, and says that working under Yorrick Williams has helped prepare him for his new role: “Being assistant has prepared me for it. I’ve learned a lot about the league and how teams are coached. 

“I’ve been building and building to get to this point, and it’s probably happened quicker than I thought.

“It’s a good opportunity from a personal point of view, and one that I couldn’t turn down.

“I want to put a team together and compete and win games. There are different parts to that and we’ll increase professionalism and have clear aims and objectives for the team.”

Williams, a British Basketball league legend who has enjoyed a 22-year career scoring over 6,000 points, will take up an ambassadorial role with the club.

The 41-year-old Williams has combined playing and coaching duties over the past two seasons but will now shift his focus to mentoring in the club’s youth and community set-ups, as well as supporting with player recruitment and education.

The Manchester native began his career with the Giants and played for six other clubs in a BBL career than included two the BBL championships, an All-Star team selection in 2007/08, and becoming the first player to score an astonishing 1,000 three pointers in the British game.

Williams starred in his final game in charge, scoring 25 points in the Giants 99-93 victory over the Plymouth Raiders.

Giants CEO John Dwan said the club were determined to keep Williams in the set-up, adding: “he will be the ultimate ambassador for any young player wanting to come through and succeed at basketball in Manchester and beyond.”

Picture courtesy of Manchester Giants, with thanks.

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