One of Australia's best basketball minds won't be lost to the NBL following the announcement former Hawks coach Gordie McLeod will join the Cairns coaching staff for the 2015-16 season.
McLeod will assist Cairns head coach Aaron Fearne in the far north after the long-term Taipans mentor sought him out following his decision to step down after five years at the helm of the Hawks last month.
McLeod's resignation followed the uncertainty surrounding the Hawks future after the club was placed into voluntary administration.
The 2014 coach of the year said at the time: "I no longer feel that my values and those of the club are in alignment. In those circumstances it's appropriate that I move on."
He also said that he would be interested in putting his knowledge "to good use in another organisation or system if the opportunity arises".
There were fears McLeod's basketball knowledge would be lost to Australian basketball before Fearne's phone call.
"I saw this as too good an opportunity to not ask the question and at least gauge Gordie's interest," Fearne said.
"It was always a major chess game coaching against him. Our program learned a lot just by coaching against his teams, so I jumped at the chance to work together. He's excited, I'm excited, and the players here I've spoken with are excited too."
McLeod will join another former NBL point guard, Jamie Pearlman, on the Taipans staff as the club looks to go one better after falling short of a maiden title against New Zealand in last year's grand final.
The addition of McLeod is a welcome boost for the Snakes just a fortnight after they announced the re-signing of last season's MVP Scottie Wilbekin and the addition of former Melbourne big-man Mark Worthington for next season.
Fearne is currently in the US looking to fill the final import slot.
The Hawks have signed eight players for next season's roster, including the reigning club MVP Tim Coenraad.
Larry Davidson and ex-Sydney Kings centre AJ Ogilvy will become the Hawks' twin towers, with Oscar Forman and Coenraad forming a versatile forward combination.
The Hawks have already signed 2012 NBL MVP Kevin Lisch as their first import, joining Rhys Martin, Kevin White and Tyson Demos in the back court.
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