Stu Taggart is no stranger to Wollongong and enjoying sporting success in the city.
It's a major reason why the Illawarra Hawks have recruited the man who successfully steered the ship as CEO for September's UCI Road World Cycling Championships.
As the Hawks new chief executive, Taggart has been charged with changing the fortunes of the struggling NBL club on and off the court.
The club announced today that Taggart would start his new role on January 23. The role will also see him head up Crest Sport and Entertainment LLC, the parent company of the Hawks.
"My primary focus is about delivering success for the Hawks," Taggart said.
"As [Hawks director] Jared [Novelly] looks at those other opportunities I hope my experiences can support that, but my immediate priority and my sole priority will be the Hawks.
"I can't talk about the past but in terms of the future I'll be looking again to come in and set us up for success. That involves working closely with the ownership.
"Jared Novelly has been a great advocate......and I look forward to work with the executive, the team and the coaching staff to continue building on the heritage of the club to deliver something special.
"I'm sure we will look at all the structures about building the platform for success. It is not an overnight job ever in these situations.
"I think I will listen a lot in the early stages to understand where the opportunities and challenges are and then we will quickly develop the strategic plan and pathway that we will head in one direction to deliver success."
Novelly said it was important for the Hawks to appoint a CEO who was connected to the local community.
"Stu's work with the World Cycling Championships highlighted his ability to showcase elite sport in this region and galvanise our corporate and consumer audiences. That was very attractive for us in the recruitment process," he said.
For Taggart, the new role allows him to build on the success of the UCI championships "for our city" and to "work with a brand that our community truly loves".
"Basketball is also on a strong growth trajectory here in Australia, so it's a great time to get involved," he said.
"A key part of my focus will be building on the work already underway with several organisations and institutions in establishing an elite-performance facility in the Illawarra to ensure our home is in the region for years to come."
That''s music to the ears of fans in Wollongong, after reports surfaced earlier this year that the NBL was looking to relocate the foundation club.
At the time the Hawks issued a statement dismissing the claims aired on News Corp's The Basketball Show as "baseless rumours" and "factually untrue."
Taggart reaffirmed on Thursday there was no desire to move the club out of Wollongong.
"The focus is to build success on court and I think a lot of that conversation will stop," he said.