BERNIE Harrower’s coaching reign with the Bendigo Spirit is over, with the club to start interviews for his job this week.
Harrower and the Spirit are yet to come to terms over the option he has to coach the team for the 2015-16 season, but the club’s board is moving on, with chairman Greg Bickley confirming interviews for Harrower’s job would start this week.
“Bernie put an offer to us that the club simply can’t afford, so we have to look elsewhere for a coach,’’ Bickley said.
“We sat down with Bernie and we gave him the first right of refusal for that 2015-16 option.
“We put terms to Bernie for the 2015-16 season which he refused and he made a counter-offer to the club that we simply can’t afford.
“We’re about trying to build the future of the club and all along we’ve said the club has to be sustainable in the future and that’s our focus.”
Harrower and the board had an icy relationship all season and it’s been apparent since the end of the season that the board had no intention in having the two-time WNBL championship coach return to the job next season.
Harrower said the club had not informed him about the interview process starting.
“I expect I will be terminated as coach and there will be a legal process to go through to finalise the termination,’’ Harrower said.
“I made an offer to coach for a very small amount (of money) and then I’d receive the rest of the remuneration at a later date when the club became more financial.
“If the club never became more financial I would never be paid. That is what I have done for two other years when I have coached the team and never been paid.
“The board didn’t talk to me about the coaching position for 2015-16 until I exercised my right for my third year option.
“The terms and conditions the board offered me were unreasonable, unworkable and way too restrictive for me to do my job effectively.”
Bickley was elated with the quality of the applicants.
“We had significant interest in the coaching job and the general manager position,’’ Bickley said.
“We’re very keen to make appointments to give not only the players, but the basketball community and the fans some certainty for next year.”
The general manager’s position was first advertised in January, with Bickley expecting an appointment to be made by the end of this week.